Recently Reviewed: RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

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High-end Japanese restaurants have an inherently glamorous tension: the opulence amplifies and heightens the beautiful simplicity of the food. Tucked in a marble-clad corner of the Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge, the RawBar ups the ante (and prices) by serving only 100-percent Ocean Wise sushi. The nigiri is not ideal, for the most part, with raggedly cut fish and chilly compacted rice. But restrained embellishments bring dimension and sparkle to the fore: halibut tightened with a light konbu pickling, sablefish made buttery with gentle grilling, raw scallops invigorated with a jolt of shiso. The real highlight, incongruous for a raw bar, are the steamed-to-order Manila clams, their impeccable freshness deepened by the clean, resinous sweetness of Granville Island craft sake. Give the room a pass on Friday and Saturday nights, when scene-making is at full volume. Instead, come for a civilized lunch. Bring the platinum card.

1038 Canada Pl., 604-695-5300