Wish You Were Here: Vancouver

Ranked one of the most liv­able cities in the world for more than a decade, Vancouver’s diverse abun­dance of inter­na­tional cui­sine makes it the ideal spot for even the most dis­cern­ing foodie. 1. Japadog If you’ve ever been to Times Square, then you know hot dogs on a cart is noth­ing new. How­ever, the Vancouver-based Japadog is a fresh take on an Amer­i­can stan­dard, refined by Japan­ese trans­plants and deliv­ered on the Cana­dian coast. Founded in 2005 by for­mer Tokyo ad man, Noriki Tamura and his wife, Misa, Japadog’s street meat can be groomed with juli­enned sea­weed shav­ings, teriyaki sauce, miso may­on­naise, crispy green radish sprouts and wasabi. Grow­ing from one small cart to full-scale food trail­ers in some loca­tions — even New York­ers can now get a taste of this merged cui­sine in Japadog’s first brick-and-mortar shop state­side. www.japadog.com 2. Judas Goat Taberna The Judas Goat Taberna is a tiny tapas bar – seat­ing a mere 28 din­ers – on Vancouver’s Blood Alley in the Gas­town dis­trict. Named after the ani­mal trained to lead other ani­mals to the slaugh­ter­house (who was of course named after that Bib­li­cal betrayer, Judas Iscar­iot), the menu of this diminu­tive eatery is touted as being Spanish-inspired – but it’s hard to miss the French and Ital­ian influ­ence. One can never go wrong with a great empanada or fla­vor­ful buñue­los. How­ever, it’s their less typ­i­cal dishes that really intrigue. An always chang­ing array of small plates includes raised brisket meat­balls, braised duck leg with pears, and scal­lop carpac­cio. Think tapas is not enough to meet your appetite quota? Judas is walk­ing dis­tance from owner Sean Heather’s other restau­rants, Irish Heather and Salt Tast­ing Room. All three are headed by Chef Lee Humphries. L’Abattoir Dining area at L’Abattoir. (Photo: L’Abattoir) 3. L’Abattoir Also located in Gas­town, L’Abattoir is not just a prime spot for those who appre­ci­ate fine food – his­tory buffs will also mar­vel at the story behind this eatery. Serv­ing “French influ­enced West Coast” fare, the restau­rant is built on the site of Vancouver’s first jail, and the name – French for slaugh­ter­house – pays homage to the neighborhood’s for­mer life as a meat­pack­ing dis­trict. Pair this inter­est­ing trivia with chef Lee Cooper’s menu of dun­ge­ness crab and chick­pea toast, loin of rab­bit stuffed with its legs, and hal­ibut with olive and saf­fron crust, som­me­lier Jake Shakun’s reserve wine selec­tion from regions around the world, and mixol­o­gist Shaun Layton’s orig­i­nal and cre­ative cock­tails, and you have a per­fect exam­ple for a nou­veau casual din­ing expe­ri­ence. www.labattoir.ca Do you have other great eater­ies in Van­cou­ver to share? Send them to us by adding a com­ment below. This story was originally published 20 July 2012 on the Trotter website.

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