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FIRST LOOK: Ono Raw Bar Opens in Gastown

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Update: December 2016 – Ono Raw Bar is now closed. The space now holds Bao Down Snack Bar! 

Ono Raw Bar 4

It’s a curious case, Gastown. In a city known for unparalleled seafood, Asian flare, and sushi on every block, the presence of Japanese cuisine is surprisingly scarce in Vancouver’s historic neighbourhood. When Gastown restaurant staple, Cork and Fin, announced its closure last month, locals waited in great anticipation of the promised “reincarnation” that was rumoured to address the void of Japanese fare.

Ono Raw Bar – “Ono” as in “delicious /tasty /scrumptious” in Hawaiian – features Japanese-inspired share plates.

With no press release or previous media, it was nothing more than happenstance that drew us to Ono’s front door. We tugged on the handle…and it opened.

Ono Raw Bar 5

Like Gastown’s best, Ono Raw Bar incites the magical feeling of escape. The high ceilings of the old Cork and Fin are still wonderfully dramatic, as is and the natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

As for the plates, it’s too early to call the menu one way or another. What I can say is that the handful of dishes that I did try were delicious. I would try them again and recommend them to others. Where I think Ono Raw Bar may excel is in their flavour and ingredients; the delicate cuts of hamachi carpaccio and the use of fresh shiso give you the satisfaction of eating the “world-class Japanese-inspired seafood” that you came to Vancouver to eat.

Ono Raw Bar 2

[Ono Raw Bar gives] you the satisfaction of eating the “world-class Japanese-inspired seafood” that you came to Vancouver to eat.

Ono is currently only open for dinner, but will offer lunch service this summer.

ONO RAW BAR
221 Carrall Street
Vancouver, BC

Mon-Thurs: 5-11pm
Fri-Sat: 5-midnight
Closed on Sunday

Ono Raw Bar 8

Joyce Chua

About Joyce Chua

I’m fascinated by food and its impact on culture, especially in an increasingly globalized world. I love how Vancouver’s multicultural food scene opens doors to history, culture, and understanding. Here’s to a life of eating and learning!

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