I’m of Japanese background, but we don’t end up going out much for Japanese. This is partly because for the more casual, “home-style” dishes, I’ll just make them at home (and much of this stuff isn’t what is served at restaurants). Also, we try to eat sustainable seafood as much as possible and most of the better restaurants serving sushi/sashimi emphasize quality over sustainability.
In addition to trying Chotto Matte recently (more Peruvian-Japanese), we also tried Minami, the sister restaurant to Miku. It was quite good and had a decent sized patio. Here is the link to that report. Miku was also good when we went, but that was pre-pandemic and we haven’t tried their patio. We haven’t been to Saito and haven’t been to Kaji in a long time. We do love Kaiseki Yu-Zen Hashimoto for special occasions.
We also love Manpuku for casual comfort food, but haven’t been during the pandemic.
We like many of the ramen places: Kinton (my favourite noodles), Santouka (best pork), Sansotei, Raijin, Isshin, Ryus (the vegetarian miso is very good), Oji Seichi (just went again yesterday). We haven’t tried Konjiki yet.
For sweets, we like Uncle Tetsu of course, Hattendo, Isabella’s Mochi Donuts, Fuwa Fuwa for pancakes, Sasaki in J-town for mochi, and we greatly lament the disappearance of Beard Papa from Pacific Mall a number of years ago.
For groceries, we mainly go to either Sanko on Queen St. W. or J-Town. At J-Town we buy goods primarily at Heisei, baked goods from Nakamura, sometimes meat from Famu. We by takeout food form Famu, Niwatei, Tanuki, and Cafe Green Tea (most of which are available in Heisei.