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Restaurant review – The Crime Lab (Vancouver, Coal Harbour) September 22, 2008

Posted by Raul in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,

As many of you know (both my offline and online friends), I absolutely adored The Crime Lab in its previous incarnation. The restaurant was sophisticated, had great food, an amazing list of martinis and everything in the restaurant was crime-themed (but with a very posh flavor, if you can believe that!). The decor and ambience were those of a Paris night bar, yet the food and drinks had a crime theme. Apparently, or so does MartiniBoys say, the former location had previously housed a police crime lab.

One day, someone woke up with the great idea that the spot where the Crime Lab was sitting (the strange convergence of Pender and Georgia, which normally run parallel) was prime spot for condos and thus my beloved Crime Lab disappeared.

There is also a story behind my love for this spot, as my very close friend JT and I had a really important conversation there, and I asked what has become now “The Crime Lab question” (it’s a synonym with tough questions now).

So when I learned from Jeffery Simpson that The Crime Lab was coming back, I knew where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner. The new location is in Coal Harbour, at 100-550 Denman St. The place is very much like I remembered it, great decoration, affordable food, amazing list of martinis (also dangerously sweet) and most definitely, the same flavor they had before, with the crime theme.

The food is definitely affordable, with a range between $17 and $25 for a main course (abundant portions, and very tasty). I chose the risotto with chicken and we all shared a vegetarian platter (for 7 people, nobody really left hungry). There were varied choices for dinner – from burgers with fries AND salad to ravioli to salad with salmon. Very nice menu. The dessert menu is also amazing, in my humble opinion.

There were many details that made my experience very good. While at some points our server struggled a bit with too many tables (I think they were understaffed for a couple of hours), I never felt that we were left down. The service was excellent, and at the end, a very classy gesture by our server: since it was my birthday, she offered to comp my dessert. While I was afraid that if I chose one that could be shared amongst 8 people (the chocolate fondue) they might not see me with good eyes, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that she didn’t even blink. She smiled and proceeded to bring me a “Happy Birthday” chocolate fondue. Now, THAT is classy πŸ™‚

Admittedly, we did consume abundant alcohol, but the martinis are also in good price range $ 8.00, actually slightly less expensive than other Coal Harbour spots. But don’t raise the prices! Keep them there! πŸ™‚ I have to say that I had a fantastic experience at The Crime Lab, and if it sounds as though I’m gushing, I actually am.

If I had to rate my experience at The Crime Lab, I’d say it was pretty much a 9.5 out of 10. I can’t wait to come back!

Crime Lab on Urbanspoon



1. Jan - September 22, 2008

That fondue looked great! Thanks for the review. πŸ™‚ I tried Crave after visiting your website and loved it. Will definitely give this one a try also.

2. Tyler Ingram - September 23, 2008

That’s pretty good price for a martini, $8! They are $10.50 over at Cloud 9.

Now I remember where I’ve seen Crime Lab, they are at the foot of Denman at the Marina. I will have to check this place out one day!

3. Danny Dang - September 23, 2008

The old Crime Lab was one of my favourites of the past. I will have to check out the new incarnation!

4. Urban Dweller - September 23, 2008

I have yet to check out the new crime lab. I’m gonna have to go check it out soon.

5. Jodi - September 28, 2008

Is this a place that requires reservations?

6. Raul - September 28, 2008

@ all, I seriously recommend this place

@ Jodi – it does, and it’s advisable to make a reservation πŸ™‚

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