Japanese family-style restaurants are virtually non-existant in Canada, with only a few of them scattered around town (BareFoot Kitchen is one other that I know about). There are chain restaurants in Japan like Royal Host, Gusto, and Tomato Onion, but so far, none of those chains have made their way across the Pacific. Vancouver's got loads of sushi restaurants, a growing number of izakayas, and now a surge of ramen shops. The family restaurant is next on the list.
Yoshoku-ya looks like they took over a fish and chips place or something, but the decor seems very fitting. The restaurant is pretty quiet, with the occasional music from the Ghibli Collection. The restaurant is clean, and so are the washrooms, as expected with most Japanese run restaurants. It seems this little gem has yet to be discovered, because although business seems to be good and steady, there are no line-ups out of the door evertime I go....which is great for me. At the same time I hope that business stays good enough for the owners to keep it running, I hope that it never gets to a point where the line ups get huge and unbearable.
The Ebi-fry (deep-fried prawn) meal.
The ebi-fry meal comes with rice, which interestingly enough is served in a plate. Family restaurants serve their meals in plates (along with forks and knives) to mimic western styles. Anyway, the meal comes with a scoop of potato salad, which is pretty light and doesn't leave your head swimming in mayonaise. It also comes with house salad which consists of lettuce, a tomato wedge, some thin-sliced cucumber, and the house dressing, which is one killer take on Thousand Island. Awesome dressing, I could go back just for the salad....and I usually hate salad.
I normally order the kaki-fry, deep fried oysters, which pretty much comes with everything the ebi-fry comes with, plus Japanese tartar sauce (the difference is they add egg....which pretty much tastes like a really creamy egg salad). I used to only eat deep-fried oysters with tartar sauce or Kewpie Mayo, but recently have discovered how great it tastes with a squirt of lemon, and some Bulldog sauce to go with the Japanese tartar sauce.
The portions here don't look like much, but trust me when I say you WILL be full by the end of the meal. It is filling and relatively inexpensive ($10-15) considering what you get. The service here is excellent, the location is okay, there's always parking within walking distance, and like I said earlier, it's never crowded....for now. Kintaro Ramen is a few shops away, and is always drawing a crowd (for whatever reason, I have no idea....not a big fan of Kintaro Ramen, but it draws a lot of lemmings.....maybe because it's so "trendy"?). Yoshku-Ya, no crowds, which suits me just fine.
Defintely a great place to grab a bite to eat, I always look forward to going back to try something different, but I never do, I always end up ordering the kaki-fry. The corn soup is awesome by the way, but I never have room for it.