We went to Koko because the chef we took cooking lessons with had recommended it and it shows up as Japanese owned and run online. It was surprisingly close to us as well.
We sat at the sushi bar, as we like to do when we try out new sushi places. The sushi chefs were very well trained and very fast. First we had the saba battera. We thought the saba was very well prepared and very fatty, as we enjoy it. I thought there was too much rice and that it would be better with two-thirds the amount. B thought it was perfect.
I ordered a bunch of nigiris to try. From top to bottom, we have unagi, uni, ikura, ika, aji, and hotate. The aji, uni, and ikura were labelled as "market price," but there were no boards that ever displayed what the market price was for that day. That was one issue I had because one of them turned out to be more than $5. Another issue I had was the uni didn't taste like it was properly cleaned - it tasted a bit muddy still. The ikura was not salty enough, but other than that everything was fine. I also thought the proportion of rice too large, but B thinks that it was fine given how large the slice of the fish was.
B had the Special Assorted Sushi. It came with 10 pieces of nigiri for the price of $22, which was a pretty good deal considering my 6 pieces came out costing more. From top to bottom, he had tobiko, ikura, ama ebi, ebi, tai, hokkigai, saba, hotate, salmon, and tuna. He said they were all fresh and really liked their treatment of the saba. Where some places may over-pickle their saba, which makes it kind of dry, this had good texture, a good amount of saltiness and oiliness, and not fishy at all.
We decided to try their tonkatsu, since that's B's favourite dish and they didn't have any saba shioyaki (my go to). We were also not impressed with their treatment of the squid - they were cut into rings and didn't have any tentacles. The tonkatsu was solid. The breading held together well and was very crispy. The pork itself was tender and juicy. The sauce had a nice balance of flavour.
We decided to add an order of hamachi sashimi because (a) they actually have it in their menu and (b) we were very impressed with the chef's knife work and wanted to see more of it. As you can see below, the pieces of hamachi are sliced evenly and smoothly.
Generally, we were impressed with the restaurant and had an enjoyable time there. We liked how the sushi doesn't fall apart like some places do, which speaks to the skills of the sushi chefs. The negatives, aside from those mentioned above, were that the server / hostess doesn't seem well trained and didn't notice when we tried to flag her down to order more and they only served one type of hot sake.
We would recommend it for those in Vancouver who don't want to travel to Burnaby or Richmond and would definitely return to try their udon, as we noticed they have quite the extensive selection of noodles. As for sushi, I would prefer going to Seto's, still.