Determining a good sushi spot is generally really easy for me, it is fresh or its not.  When I go to sushi spots I usually get a very basic assortment consisting of salmon sashimi, chopped scallop roll, negitoro roll, dynamite roll and sometimes some tuna sashimi.

A cook is as only good as their ingredients and for something like salmon and tuna sashimi it really is just about that.  From my conversations with sushi chefs there are some types of fish where there are specific ways and techniques to make your slice but for tuna and the most part salmon, there is no special technique.  For these items it really comes down to the quality of their sourcing and the restaurants turnover.  Restaurants that are not busy, have to be very careful with the quality of their fish because if it isn't under proper temperature control and/or if he has been sitting around for too long, there is a good chance that the fish should not be served.

For downtown, there aren't many places that I can recommend that serve cheap, good sushi.  There is Miko but that doesn't fall under the cheap category, the izakayas have all stepped up the quality of fish they serve but not a place you really go for just sushi, and the only other place I can think of is Yamato on Davie.   Well now there is Sushi Mart on Denman.  This place came highly recommended by my Japanese friend, and all I could do was doubt it because the name just screams bad sushi.

 Shipping skids hung along the wall give this place a very unique and creative interior and once inside the process is simple.  You order at the counter, and they bring the sushi to your spot at the large table.  The fish is great and cheap for a downtown spot.    Salmon sashimi was fresh (4pcs - $5.50), and the albacore tuna ($5.00 for 4 pcs)  was buttery with a clean smell.  The dynamite roll ($4.50) was a little different than the norm, instead of the deep fried prawn, the roll was stuffed with tempura to give that extra crunch and it worked.  The green salad ($3.75), negitoro ($2.50) and the chopped scallop  roll ($3.50) were all fresh and tasty.

Give this place a shot if you are looking for fresh sushi in the downtown area.

Sushi Mart
1668 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC
Sushi Mart on Urbanspoon