On the first day of 2008, thecafsux enters into West Vancouver territory, a first for this blog. My initial destination was a highly recommended Japanese sushi bar called Hachi Hana, but found it was closed on the first eve of the new year. In fact, the entire Lonsdale street was nearly deserted, most restaurants empty, with the exception of Kokoro Japanese Restaurant, which had a lineup going by the time we got there. Being a person that does not enjoy waiting to pay for food, we ventured further down to find a very inviting Yum Yum Shanghai Restaurant. The interior was gorgeous, fully seated, with bamboo decorated walls, water fountain near the entrance, and traditional Chinese music playing softly in your ear. The catch is, withing a minute of us stepping inside, two people leave while complaining that they’ve been waiting for an hour without service, and a table beside the entrance advising us the same and recommending us to go elsewhere. The wait staff of two appear to have no idea what they were doing and preferred to wait by the kitchen than to greet arriving customers. We left without hesitation, but I think one day when I’m feeling masochistic enough I’ll try it just for kicks.

Ok, I’ll get to the place we actually did have a bite at now. Around the west end of Ambleside Village is an Italian joint called Presto Cucina, identifiable by a hanging lantern outside their Mediterranean looking exterior. A casual seat yourself place that has better food than many of its bigger faux Italian food counterparts. *cough* Spaghetti Factory…*cough*

Their menu is a variety of pastas, breads, deserts and a delicious selection of thin crust pizza. Prices are reasonable too, $10 for a small pizza enough for one, or $24 for a large for possibly 2 and a half.

We had a tasty small spicy chicken pizza,

And a cheese tortellini with salmon and mushrooms

Though smaller in portion than the HK cafes we frequent, it included the right ingredients that puts #22 to shame.

Presto Cucina can also be found in Kitsalano. More information on their official web site here.

8 out of 10 for a nice casual place for after a walk around Ambleside beach