I went by the brand new Nuba restaurant in the Dominion Building at West Hastings and Cambie tonight (207 W. Hastings, 604-688-1655, Nuba.ca). They’ve just moved across the street from their much-loved, tiny, and unlicensed shoebox, into a cavernous underground space that will eventually seat over 100 by my count (they were just approved for an additional 50 on top of an original 60). First impressions were very positive, though I couldn’t stop for anything other than a couple beers.
I like the look, which is very grotto-esque, sort of a Beirut speakeasy circa Indiana Jones. I have to say that it’s an stark departure from the charmingly diminutive little Lebanese spot across the way, but I still came away thinking that there were few basement rooms as interesting as this, and it’s a bit of a ballsy location to boot, and I mean for anything (it’s the former Mouse and Bean spot).
Scott Cohen and Stephan Gagnon, respectively the designer and the builder responsible for the looks of Vancouver rooms such as Gastropod, Le Faux Bourgeois, Jules, and Bistrot Bistro, did a swell job with the aesthetics. The bar in particular is lovely, and they finally have their liquor license, so that means Phillips’ beers, many wines, and cocktails. The menu still has the classics, with a few larger dishes thrown in (plus something called La Grande Feast). Check it: