Okonomi – As You Like It

With two locations in New Westminster, is Okonomi poised to become "favourite sushi" in all those reader surveys?

There’s a little sushi joint in New West on Fourth Street, at Columbia, in the building that formerly housed Lafflines. Apparently it used to be an Italian restaurant, but for the life of me I can’t remember anything like that there. In a city with a billion sushi restaurants (okay, I exaggerate, but seriously, there are a lot), Okonomi has won me over completely with their inventive and interesting rolls, awesome service, and great pricing. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve just opened up a second location in the space formerly housing The Orange Room.

Okonomi Sushi (6th St) on Urbanspoon

What makes Okonomi unique in a sea of local sushi competition is the fact that both their downtown and uptown locations are enormous. There are always enough seats, I never feel crowded, and they can accomodate spur of the moment meet ups of 10 or 12 people with relative ease. Their food is fresh, delicious, and well made. The menu alone has something ridiculous, like 200 items, and it can take a good number of minutes to pick from the extensive menu. Tip: don’t go when you are starving and can’t concentrate.

Their rice is also pink, which threw me off at first. The server explained they boil organic blueberries and cabbage additives in the water they use to cook the rice to make it more nutritious. I didn’t notice a taste difference but one of my dining companions did. They also have burning stone tataki, a fun experience where you get to cook your own food on an incredibly hot rock.

The portions are great and I’ve over-ordered a few times. Their prices are very reasonable. I’m not really a fan of leftover sushi, but I’ve gotten used to their portion sized and so that happens a lot less these days. Okonomi means “as you like it”, and I definitely like it.

They have free delivery, free wifi, and are licensed.

Okonomi Downtown is at 26 4th Street downtown@okonomi.com or 778-397-0567

Okonomi Uptown is at 620 6th Street uptown@okonomi.com or 778-397-1003

Jen Arbo

Jen Arbo is the editor and co-publisher of Tenth to the Fraser. She's been writing for the site since 2007 and lives in Sapperton with her family. A project manager at heart, she also operates Hyack Interactive, a digital communications company. Find her on Twitter or Instagram.

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13 comments

  1. The server also mentioned that the blueberry/cabbage concoction reduces the amount of sodium they have to use somehow.

  2. I agree completely. Could go on!

    At first I was annoyed that the Orange Room became Okonomi. It seems every other restaurant uptown is a sushi place. Not another!

    Then I went in for a small snack of gyoza. It came with some edaname beans, green tea & a tiny refreshing surprise 'dessert'. Then, as it was the daily special, it was 25% off!

    All was very esthetic & elegant. The orange red walls there are perfect, as I know this is a lucky colour (especially in decor?) for the Japanese. May it be so!

    I came home wanting to write about Okonomi, but didn't get past Facebook…I like it too! Want to meet my 'peeps' there. ASAP.

    1. I totally agree, Franci. I thought "yay, another sushi joint, ho hum" but they have totally won me over. Also, with Wild Rice coming to River Market in a few months, I feel like we are getting some good food mojo coming our way.

    1. I agree, or more pubs that had family seating…okay I'll sit in the corner with my kids, but I do love pub food!

      1. I'd love a brew pub too, but maybe one like the Irish Heather that servers non-traditional pub-food (ie not everything is cooked in a deep frier).

  3. What a great time to be moving to the area! This looks like it will fast become a favorite of ours too.

  4. We have been loyal to Hi Dozo for some time, but I stopped into Okonomi's new uptown location out of curiosity the other day, and was totally blown away by the quality of the service and the food. Everything tastes very fresh and flavourful, service was speedy and friendly and the menu had a lot of unique fare that was a welcome change from the typical list at sushi restaurants. The decor uptown is also lovely. They haven't made any large substantive changes that I noticed, but they have added a number of small touches that really brings it together and makes it their own. But the really welcome surprise is that they deliver. We've ordered in from them recently too, and while it isn't quite as nice as eating at the restaurant, the delivery person was just as friendly as the restaurant staff and the quality of the food remained good. Definitely a new favourite.

  5. Tried uptown Okonomi for first time yesterday. Full marks. Food, service & space were superior to anything else in New Westminster we've tried, but prices are in line. The portions were huge and served fast. One person in our group tried the ice cream tempura, which was included in an enormous $14.95 Bento Box. A very unique and delicious desert. We and others were sad to see The Orange Room go, but Okonomi was a pleasant and welcome surprise we will enjoy again.

  6. The service at the Uptown and Downtown locations must be completely different. I've attempted dinner at the Downtown location twice now and the service was horrible both times. The last time it took us (two diners) almost 1.5 hours from start to finish. Simply ridiculous.

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