This past weekend O & I drove up to Vancouver, BC to eat (yes, just to eat again). Our last trip was back in 2014 for Labor Day weekend. I think this might be a 2+ times a year kind of thing now. We really love eating at the restaurants up there (especially the Japanese restaurants). We discovered a great restaurant called Kingyo last year and it has become our all-time favorite place to eat in Vancouver. If you're in the city, drop in for lunch (we haven't been there for dinner yet). I would recommend making lunch reservations for 11:30am. They have an amazing bento box that is limited to only 10 per day and it includes 12 high-quality, tasty little items for just $16--so you should order the bento right after you're seated. :-) This time we ordered (in addition to the bento) hot stone grilled beef tongue, uni nigiri and sashimi lunch set/combo. We were so happily stuffed afterward. Did I also mention that the service is so great that it reminds me a lot of the service in Japan?
Our goal now for these mini/day trips to Vancouver is to eat lunch at Kingyo, then try a new restaurant for dinner each time--at least until we've satisfied ourselves at Kingyo before switching up a new lunch spot. This time we went to Gyu Kaku for dinner. It's a great Japanese yakiniku place with very reasonable prices and big selections. We went on a Monday so they had happy hour all day long, including extra discounts at certain times. The only thing is that it feels a little bit more like a Korean BBQ place than a yakiniku place (say, like Ishoni).
Why is it that Seattle doesn't really have as many great (and reasonably priced) Japanese restaurants (excluding sushi-focused restaurants)? I could only think of 2-3 places to my standards that meet all the requirements. Although, we are trying out Suika (Kingyo's sister restaurant) this weekend since it recently opened a location in Seattle (originally in Vancouver), so hopefully it won't disappoint.