Clubhouse Restaurant is
a great place to meet friends for large, casual group
dinners. Laid-back, open late and spacious, this sporty
Japanese restaurant offers more types of beer than most
pubs. Located on 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, the location is
unfortunately not centrally located for a total ease free commute
via transit. Clubhouse is about one block away from the
Vancouver Police station, and a few stores away from the Bazaar and
Novelty store. Judging from the number of off-duty officers that frequent this restaurant, I often wonder if the owner should rename it to Cophouse.
Criminology students worried about the routine activities lifestyle theory or unfolding criminal events can find peace of mind here. Clubhouse is probably the safest place to chug back pitchers of beer, as long as one member of your party remains the designated driver. Clubhouse boasts one of the largest selections of brews in a Japanese restaurant that I have yet to see. The all Canadian roster line
of Molson, Budweiser or Kokanee beer is an appetizer to the rest of the listing. The daily
specials of pitchers include Russell Amber Ale, Backwoods Pale Ale,
Spring Lager, and Okanagan Spring Pale Ale . Other popular beers like the
Granville Island ale, bottles of Stella, and Japanese beers are also available.
Other drinks on special are
glasses of red or white Mission Ridge wine ($3.25) on
Tuesdays; apple, peach or pear ciders on Fridays ($3.65), and
a glass of Spring Lager ($2.15) on Wednesdays.
The Umai tofu salad ($5.75) is
a great summer salad, and incredibly cheap considering the
sheer size of the salad. The salad consists of a heaping bed
of crisp iceberg lettuce, generous amounts of shredded carrots
and beets, cubes of fresh tofu and peanut buttery gomae
spinanch, with a liberal amount of a refreshing, ginger miso
dressing. Chilled slices of cucumber and tomato adorn the rim
of the large, white plate. I�m not a vegetable or tofu fan,
and I love this salad.
My other favourite dish is the
okonomiyaki pizza, which is offered in two of their menus
(each a little different), the one in the white menu is
smaller and cheaper. Prices on the white menu for the
okonomiyaki range from $6.00 to $9.00 dollars depending if you
order the vegetarian, squid, scallop, or mixed mushroom
version. Order it with yakisoba noodles for another $1.00, and
you�ll receive a crunchy layer of tasty noodles underneath
your pizza, adding to the different flavours and textures of
this dish. Okonomiyaki is a flat, savoury pancake, similar to
a latke, but made with flour, shredded cabbage, egg, and your
choice of ingredients. It takes about 20 minutes to cook on
the griddle, arrives piping hot, and covered in a tasty
Japanese sauce I haven�t been able to duplicate at home.
Most of my friends who don�t
like sushi order the kakiage tempura don. The kakiage bowl
consists of a massive mountain of shredded vegetables,
scallops, and squid in a crusty tempura batter ($8.99). A liberal amount of sweet tempura sauce is poured on top right before they serve it to you. The kakiage tempura don includes a small cold salad and miso
soup laden with caramelized onions and tofu.
The Oh avocado ($3.75) is
another of my favourites. One half of an avocado is baked with
seafood and cream sauce. This item takes about 15 minutes to
make, but well worth the wait. The avocado arrives baked into
a soft, stable base to the seafood; the rich cheese sauce in
turn accents the delicate flavour of the avocado.
Other popular items on the list
are Japanese curries ($9.99), wild salmon dinners ($12.95),
sushi platters, and various rice bowls. The sushi is popular
here, as are the appetizers of mixed mushrooms in butter and
garlic, baked oyster dishes and specialty maki rolls. The
potato croquette is another standout- two plump rectangles
made of silken mashed potatoes, with a crusty, crunchy
exterior, zigzagged with tartar sauce.
Parking is out front, some
metered, some not. For large parties, call for reservations.
pm to 1:00 am Monday to Saturday,
5:00 pm to 12:00 am Sunday.
Reviewed by: Christine G. Louie
Last reviewed: April 22, 2005