Sushi places are everywhere in Vancouver and it's easy to miss gems especially when they look like any ordinary Korean run sushi restaurant. Thank goodness I heard of Sushi Loku a while ago and decided to give it a visit recently. Located on East Broadway and Carolina Street, the exterior of Sushi Loku may not look like much but I can assure you that you'll be pleasantly surprised to find more than what you were looking for.
ocean dream roll
prawn tempura, tuna, avocado, crabmeat, masago, cucumber wrapped in rice paper topped with ponzu sauce and spicy mayo @ 7.95
2/5 - All those ingredients sound great and there's really not much to complain about on paper but I just wasn't a fan of the rice paper - it's flimsy, tasteless, and I don't think it does justice to the other ingredients. I feel like they were trying to go for a "fresh" roll and replace rice with lot of imitation crab meat...which is also a no for me.
TLDR: rice paper + lots of imitation crab meat = no
crabmeat, avocado, cream cheese topped with seared spicy tuna, spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce @ 6.95
4/5 - This is like a spicy tuna roll but less spicy and more flavour. The crab meat, avocado, and cream cheese inside makes for a nice and not too crazy creamy middle while the seared spicy tune adds a punch on flavour. I'm a big fan of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce so really there's nothing much to complain about on my part.
TLDR: YAY ABURI FISH ON SUSHI
ikura, seared saba, salmon (tobiko included in aburi platter) @ 1-2.5/piece
4/5 - Nothing much to complain about here especially if searing the nigiri is an option.
aburi oshisushi negitoro (6 pcs)
negitoro, tuna and green onion inside topped with ponzu sauce @ 10.95
3.75/5 - I love oshisushi (if that wasn't clear enough) and I also love negitoro so ordering this item was a no-brainer. I loved the smoky flavours in the fish but I do have to admit that there was too much sauce in the rice which caused the signature rice block to crumble easily. I prefer my sushi rice to be slightly sticky instead of moist and crumbly.
TDLR: great fish but be careful eating each piece..the rice will probably fall apart on you
loku's aburi nigiri collection (8 pcs)
aburi tuna, tuna toro, hamachi, salmon, chopped scallop @ 14.95
4.25/5 - Great selection of fish to aburi. The searing was consistent on each piece and not overdone. The slices of fish were very generous and I loved the toppings and sauce that came with each one.
This place is easy to miss but after just one visit, I can tell that Sushi Loku is a gem in the neighbourhood. There is a great variety of sushi from typical appetizers to maki, nigiri, aburi selections, and specialty rolls. I was especially impressed by the prices. For the quality you get in each dish, the price tag is very reasonable and surprisingly cheaper than expected - eg: nigiri is usually ~+$2 per piece but in the set of 8, each piece is ~$1.87 (not to mention searing nigiri is usually an additional $0.50 per piece). Service here might not be the most attentive but the staff is friendly and polite. This is definitely a go-to sushi place if you're in the area.
R E V I E W.
+ food quality: 8/10
+ service: 7.5/10
+ price/affordability: 8.5-9/10
+ atmosphere: 7.5/10
+ overall: 8/10