It had been more than a few years since my Sweetheart and I had visited the Naam Restaurant in the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano and after a day in Vancouver with our kids at the Art Gallery, we decided to revisit one of our favourite vegetarian restaurants from years gone by.
I am pleased to say that not much has changed at the Naam. At the same time I regret to say that not much has changed at the Naam.
The food was very good. Like in the old days, Sweetheart and I shared a Dragon Bowl. A large bowl with potato wedges covered in miso gravy and melted cheese with big cubes of tofu, carrot slices, broccoli, and cauliflower all soaked in a sesame-miso like dressing. Excellence. I have always loved the grated beets, carrots and alfalfa sprouts that are added to the top of the bowl. This has always been one of my favourites and I am very pleased to see that it was much the same as the first time I went there in the 1980s.
At the same time, I am sad to say that not much has changed in the way the Naam Restaurant is run. At the front door is a sign saying please wait to be seated. The problem is you have no idea how long you are going to stand there waiting to be seated. Even though about a third of the seats in the restaurant were empty, there were people standing at the door waiting for somebody to recognize them or to just acknowledge that they were there waiting for a table.
One brave couple walked right in past the sign instructing people to wait for a server and they went up to the counter and said “are we supposed to just get our own table or what’s going on here?” Not a good start for a first timer at the Naam. Clearly this was somebody who does not understand the laissez-faire attitude of the people who work at the Naam.
Knowing the way the kitchen works and kind of knowing the menu, almost immediately after sitting down I made a point of flagging down our server and getting our order for chips and salsa and the Dragon Bowl into the kitchen. This was in hopes that our food would be served to us without an excessive wait time.
Even though we had our kids with us, and I was actually surprised to see a significant number of other people with kids in the restaurant, the servers and kitchen paid no mind. I would have thought that the servers and kitchen staff might have expedited an order for people with kids simply to get them out of the restaurant.
Our order was in long before the orders at the three tables around us, and yet all three tables around us were served and one of them had already finished eating their meal before our food was delivered. The good old Naam has not changed in that way.
So as I said in the start, I’m glad to say that the Naam Restaurant has not changed and at the same time I’m sad to say that the Naam Restaurant I has not changed since the old days. That all being said, we will visit the Naam Restaurant again.