12b- an underground restaurant

Todd of 12B
Artwork in the interior hallway of 12B.

Todd of 12B
Sitting pretty for the Halibut & Short Ribs course.

Underground Restaurant:
An illegal eating establishment, generally operated out of homes or apartments by people looking to offer something that isn't available in the legitimate restaurants of the community, generally bypassing local zoning and health code regulations. Most such places are advertised by word of mouth or guerilla advertising, and often require references to make a reservation.”

Last Saturday I joined 9 other diners, some of them friends and some of them strangers, for a much anticipated dinner at apartment 12B. Located somewhere in Vancouver, its occupant is not only a talented chef, but also a generous host who expresses himself creativity through his own interpretation of underground dining.

Certainly, a private location brings with it more liberty to be playful and less conventional, both for the host and for his or her guests. Todd’s food is thoughtful in its combinations and sublime in its flavours....and his home is a feast for the eyes; much of it full of vivid original artwork and scads of funky details. With each of the five courses served, he took the time to explain to us what we were eating as well as any special details about the ingredients and preparations. This, of course, is in sharp contrast to the experience of a conventional restaurant where it is rare that there be any direct contact at all between the kitchen and the very diners they are cooking for. During Todd's dinner events, guests are encouraged to experience his home free range, to feel comfortable choosing (and bringing) their own music, wandering between rooms to stretch their legs, lingering in the gallery-style hallway, smoking! in the living room-lounge or even making their own short film as we did (see below) before returning to the large picnic style dining table to tuck into the next scrumptious course, uncork another bottle or two of wine and, if you are as lucky as we were, enjoy listening to someone like diner Brad spontaneously break out in song at some point during each course.

Todd of 12B
Plating up the Tomato & Asparagus Salad course.

Todd of 12B

Seared Duck with Pea Tops, Baby Carrots & ‘Nectums’

Todd of 12B

Mocha Cheesecake with Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream before the White Chocolate Drizzle.

I’d say that we were a slightly boisterous group. Much of our behaviour would not have been tolerated in a public restaurant, nor would the turnaround time of our table….. 7:30 pm to midnight on a Saturday. Some of our party got extra creative in the 'tipping' department.....one guest left behind her bra and panties, accompanied by a written comment in the guest book explaining "....because your food got me so hot and bothered". Our menu went as follows:

Heirloom Tomato, Asparagus & Goat Cheese Salad
Shallot & Champagne Vinaigrette

Seared Duck with Pea Tops, Baby Carrots & ‘Nectums’ (1/2 Nectarine / 1/2 Plum)
Soy-Citrus Sauce

Lemon-Seared Halibut & Beer-Braised Short Ribs
Swiss Chard & Esplette Butter Sauce

Grilled Lamb Chop with Parsnip & Yam Purees
Green Curry Sauce

Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Melted ‘Roaring 40’s Blue Cheese’
Morel Mushrooms in Cognac Cream Sauce
Roasted Garlic Baby Nugget Potatoes

Mocha Cheesecake
Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream & White Chocolate Drizzle

Six course set menus for 6-10 guests start at $50 per person plus B.Y.O. Booze.
To book a reservation call Todd @ 778.389.7295.

WARNING! The following short film contains some cussin' and immature subject matter.


Anonymous said...

Chef Todd is my brother..this made me smile thank you for the amazing words.

Jorden said...


I really enjoy your blog and I'm going to check out 12b for sure. Very cool to get a shout-out in the Vancouver Sun too!


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Hi, I'm trying to read your blog about 12B but the page keeps reloading to the current blog post before I can get through reading 2 sentences or watching 10 seconds of the video. Is this a bug you can fix?

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