Yesterday, I went to lunch with a couple of female co-workers and we decided to head over to Coast Restaurant in their newer location on Alberni. I’m not sure if it was what I chose to eat, but I think I liked the food at the old Yaletown spot better. Somehow, even though the atmosphere was larger and more modern and they have a great patio at the new place, it just felt like the food could’ve been from…well, anywhere that served seafood really.
The other thing that we all really noticed was that the service at this particular lunch was not up to par. We waited for awhile to order (of course it was prime lunch hour and really busy), but then the server didn’t even ask for our drink order first. I think he just completely forget and when he took our food orders, we just threw in what we wanted to drink. We then had to wait 20 minutes until our food had come, and remind him to bring us something besides the water on the table. Other than that, it was just really slow to get our bill after asking, and I think he may have forgotten the sushi until we checked in on that too. I do have to say though that the other two times I’ve dined at the new Coast (one other lunch and once for dinner) the service was better, so it could’ve just been an off day, or that person in particular.
So here’s what we had to eat:
Mango California Roll and Eel and BBQ Salmon Roll – These rolls were definitely the best part of our lunch. Mango puts a great spin on any roll since it’s always nice and fresh, and having real crab is a must-have for me to eat any type of California roll. The fish roe on top was a great touch as well. As for the other one, I’m not usually a fan of eel, but the sauce on this roll (bbq sake) was better than most since it wasn’t too thick or overpowering, and the eel tasted quite good as well. What I really liked about this roll (and what my co-worker also mentioned), was that the portions of all of the components of the roll fit well together.
Lobster Hot Dog – Now this was interesting. The idea sounded so great when you looked at it on the menu – who wouldn’t want a whole chunk of lobster! The problem is, it was literally a ‘hot dog’ in the sense that the lobster was ground up and made into something in the shape of a weiner, which ended up with a similar texture to a fish cake. There were also fairly large pieces of regular lobster on top, along with the dijon mustard and the sauerkraut, but it just wasn’t quite what my co-worker had in mind. Also, it did look kind of funny – let’s just say my friend lost her appetite partway through, and when I asked her why, she just pointed and made a face. I’ll let you use your imagination and leave it at that. The lobster dog was served with a chowder of some sort (which I didn’t taste), but was told was “good, especially since it had real chunks of lobster in it.”
Cod Burger – We were told that halibut season just abruptly ended this past weekend, so although the menu item was originally a Halibut Burger, another co-worker was able to substitute this with cod. Again, this was served with the same lobster chowder. The burger was a bit spicy, in a pale ale batter. We were trying to figure out if it was the patty itself, or the sauce in the burger, and I’m pretty sure it was the cocktail sauce within. Although I didn’t try this myself, I did want to include some info and a pic about it so you have more examples. She did say that her meal was good and would order it again.
Cod Fish and Chips – I have eaten this on another occasion when I was at Coast for dinner a few weeks ago. I was nursing a bit of a red wine hangover from Wednesday night, so I felt like something greasy and carb-heavy, and this definitely fit the bill! The batter was a bit thick in some parts, and I ended up peeling some of it off. I picked at the coleslaw once or twice to try to get some vegetables in me, but that’s something I would suggest skipping next time around – it was limp and pretty tasteless. As for the fries, they were fairly average in my mind. They were great in terms of fulfilling my need for greasy carbs at the time though!
Other items I’ve had when dining here in the past were the Hers lunch box – this comes with tuna sashimi on a salad, a shrimp wrap, and a bowl of Manhatten clam chowder. This was definitely a better option, but it was somewhat small (just something to note if you’re usually a big eater like me). At the dinner a few weeks ago, I had the Signature Chilled Platter. This was fairly tasty as well, but I’m not sure if it was just my expectations going in were too high or what, but I didn’t find it to be anything special either. We also tried out the Signature Seafood Platter, which includes a wide array of hot items. I thought that the best part of this was the potato gnocchi and the wild sea tiger prawns.
Overall, I would suggest going here for dinner and trying out the platters and other seafood options rather than lunch. I remember that I enjoyed the food at Coast a lot more when I went to the old Yaletown location, but that was over a year ago and a bit of a distant memory at this point (so I’m not exactly clear on the details). The atmosphere was great, and so is the heated patio (but watch out for the bench seating as you’ll be looking up at your dining partners the whole meal since the ground is on an upward slant). I would go back again for drinks one night.
1054 Alberni Street
Vancouver, B.C., V6E 1A3