Last night, the hubster and I headed over to Kissa Tanto in Chinatown for a date night.  This dining spot was a suggestion from someone at work.  When I first heard about it, I’ll admit I wasn’t completely sold.  Japanese-Italian fusion wasn’t something I could quite imagine.  I made reservations months in advance and getting a normal dining time was difficult so I was definitely taking this as a sign that it was most likely worth the wait.  

We walked up the staircase and through the curtains to a packed restaurant on our Saturday evening.  I instantly loved the vibe in the room.  The decor has a 1960s feel and the bar reminded me of something out of a mob movie.  We were given an option from the host to either take a table that’s available now or wait for our table which would be ready in a few moments, but is a lot nicer.  We opted to wait and the wait wasn’t long at all.  We were given a refreshments menu to take a look at while we waited.  About 6 minutes later we were taken to a cute corner booth at the very back of the restaurant. 

For dinner, we both really wanted to try the whole fried fish.  I was told that this was the dish to try here.  Unfortunately, it was sold out by the time we arrived.  They only get about 10 a day and they tend to sell out quickly.  I’m not gonna lie, we were both super disappointed that we didn’t get to try it.  Luckily, the rest of the menu is unique and exciting so it was easy picking out some other options.  All the dishes here are served as share plates.  I could see the only real problem you might have may be coming to a consensus on what to order.  Everything on the menu sounds so amazing.  

We started out with the octopus salad.  I’ve never seen a more beautiful salad in my life.  The octopus was smoked and crispy, a combo of fresh and pickled radishes served with a delicious sauce.  Our next dish was the duck agnolotti – fresh cut pasta filled with braised duck and a buttery mustard brandy sauce.  We ended off with dry aged organic striploin served with a unique combination of grilled shishito peppers, robust cherries and marinated beets.  We also ordered a side of zucchini that was so flavorful and topped off with togarashi crumbs.  These dishes are innovative, velvety, simple and complicated all at the same time. 

Service was fantastic and I was so impressed with all the cute little details like the sign when you walk in, the message at the start of the menu and the haiku that comes with your bill.  

I love everything about this place!  It’s clearly one of Vancouver’s gems and we were already making plans to come back soon before we’d even left.