Working in reverse-chronological order from my Sunday afternoon downtown – before going out for Bella Gelateria I had previously had some lunch at Gyudonya at the corner of Robson & Richards.

Coincidentally similar to Yoshinoya?

The place had opened several months ago, but I just didn’t have the opportunity to try it – but now I was on my own, and hungry!

Basic items on menu board

Upon entering, I was greeted by the server behind the counter/cash area.  I assumed that it was like any other take-out place where you ordered first, paid, then got food… Apparently not! When I said I was going to eat inside the restaurant, she gestured me to the bar or the long table along the windows and brought me a menu.  I didn’t spend much time looking at it since I wanted to try the basic beef bowl, but I appreciated the extra service.

Small Beef Bowl ($4.95)

Moments later, here was my order of the Small Beef Bowl.  Yup, it was pretty much just very thin strips of beef, with a bit of onion, on rice.  The red strips in the side bowl are pieces of very “hot” pickled ginger.  The first thing I noticed about the beef itself was how fatty it was – in a good way!  It was almost like beef bacon!  Needless to say it was very tender and moist, but with just a little grilled texture from the teppan-style grill.  I liked the super soft almost caramelized onions too, and the marinade (of sweet soy) that they were cooked in.  The only thing that threw me off a little was the texture of the rice.  It was quite dry, and not “sticky” at all.  I was surprised since I’m so used to Japanese short-grain rice (and no, I’m not getting it confused with sushi rice).  I almost felt like the dish would have been better with that kind of rice – not that it wasn’t good otherwise.  Anyhow, at under $5 for my meal (which, actually was cheaper than my gelato later!), it was filling, and well prepared.

Cut-out art in window

Oh, and I had to take a picture of the cut-out art in the window – this beautiful, simple design reminds me of the paper puppet scene in King of Masks (best, most saddest movie ever!)

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