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Everything posted by grayelf

  1. RE Japanese places: I don't think I saw Kokoro mentioned anywhere on this thread. FWIW I had a most pleasing dining experience there not two weeks ago. It is in what Sanresho characterizes as Upper Lonsdale (just south of 15th on the east side of the street). Went on a Sunday night with the Significant Engineer and the Bunkle Queen for a post-renovation feed. Everything was good, fresh and tasty but real standouts were the special house rolls with slightly odd names like Energy -- you'll know them when you see them. The combinations they've come up with are a bit different but not too weird like some sushi restos are doing, and I think they work. The mixed tempura was massive if a bit heavy in the batter department but the fact that everything hot arrived really hot was a boon -- I understand this is the way it's done in Japan and you're supposed to wait till the food is at your preferred temperature. Very civilized. Anyway, we ate until the gullets were well expanded and couldn't finish it all. Then the bill came. Just under $45 for three before tip. Needless to say, we'll be back. PS we have successfully ordered take out several times before which prompted our dining in foray so if you decide to give it a try, don't be put off by the slightly nautical look of some of the furnishings -- a bit Captain Highliner for my taste
  2. I've tried Lolita's thrice now and liked the food muchly, particularly the chicken tacos. The resto itself is a bit of a mixed bag, small and narrow (cozy to some, "stop whacking the back of my chair" to others) with a bit of a pseudo-Polynesian kitschy feel to it. Servers are young'n'breezy, clientele the same. Go early (by 6:30 or be prepared to wait/sit at the bar. Noise level goes up by the half hour. I understand the owner was formerly connected to one of the Bins and seems to have taken some of her cues from them. Baru Latino is also worth a visit if my one experience there is an indication. Interesting and diverse South America-centric list, with meaty things commanding my attention particularly. Also a well-yummy house cocktail that was sort of a mojito Slurpee, as I recall. It has been a while so things may have changed... must get back for a second look... so many restos...
  3. Maybe a day (okay, 6 months) late and a dollar short (just found this question) but I'm a sucker for the chocolate cake on offer at Topanga Cafe on 4th near MacDonald. Seriously chocolaty, layered, gooey but not slimy, bittersweet but not too bitter, tiny crunchy choconuggets of unknown provenance lurking therein. I've been known to order it at the same time as I order my main because once the specimen on the cake pedestal is gone, it's gone. This thread has inspired me to ask about special ordering a whole one (the Significant Engineer's birthday is looming).
  4. Glad to be here, thanks. Being unaware of the eGullet phenomena, I did not take notes but from memory: Brunch for me was chilaquiles, a personal favourite that I've not often found outside Mexico. They vary but these ones were day old tortilla strips deep fried and served with tomatillo sauce, a creditable queso fresco knockoff and some crema. They came with tasty refritos and the Zocalo take on home fries which are crispy good, probably deep fried. I love anything deep fried -- sand, paper, you name it, so I was a fan. The SE (Significant Engineer) had the Zocalo version of the classic brekky: 2 eggs any style with a side o' meat'n'spuds, oh and beans of course. The meat was a pleasing hunk of chorizo instead of the usual suspects. All disappeared rapidly with smacks of appreciation. Both were decent sized plates, not humongous but plenty filling and priced reasonably (under $10 as I recall). For dinner, as mentioned we went for several appetizers rather than for mains. One of us was veggie, so we decided to order our own items rather than sharing which was kinda goofy in retrospect. Anyhoo, we had two spinach salads (not very Mexican but well executed according to my fellow diners), three orders of the bean taquitos (again well executed, if a tad squidgy -- I blame the beans) served with a small side of mixed greens, two orders of the chicken taquitos (just what a chicken taquito should be, moist but NOT squidgy inside, with full on crunch outside), also with greens. Sauces were chipotle or adobo (my bad) and guacamole, both tasty atop their respective taquitos. Our veg friend went for a ceviche which she was pleased with but not prescient enough to provide a detailed review to help this eGullet post :-). The last item I ordered was the only potato plate, similar to the patatas bravas at La Bodega but IMHO much better. Again with the goodness of deep frying, they were many and the sauce was good. Had to commandeer pals to help try to finish them but alas we were too full. Beverages were beers for dining buddies and a house cocktail that was very tasty but whose contents escape me at the moment. They do have daily specials on particular bevvies and the prices seemed reasonable alcohol-wise. The odd service I mentioned went something like this: waitron gives us menus, wanders off, comes back moments later for drink order, then returns to confirm drink order, brings beers, comes back with cocktail but as she is about to serve it, bolts back to the kitchen and exchanges it for a different cocktail, takes food order without writing anything down (house rule?), then returns to confirm food order, and so on. So a bit vague but we got everything and it was all hot or cold as appropriate so no harm done. We skedaddled just as the band was setting up so can't report on the live entertainment except to say it starts at about 8 pm on Fri and Sat. Pricewise, I think we paid around $80 for the three of us for 3 drinks and 3 apps each, which seemed reasonable given the quality and quantity of goods received. I think a return trip to sample a wider array of both starters and mains is in order. They also have a tres leches cake for dessert that requires testing.
  5. Hi all: Please forgive my newbie errors in posting -- it's been a while since I've been part of such an on-line community. This is in fact my first post on eGullet. I've been lurking intensely since I joined, catching up on some great threads/topics like this one. Anyway, thought I'd jump in and ask if anyone has tried Zocalo on Main. I couldn't find any references to it in the obvious forums. I've been twice, once for brunch as a walk in on the weekend and later with an early reso on a Friday for dinner. All dishes passed muster (and then some in certain cases -- details to follow if anyone's interested), the ambiance was good, the room inviting (kind of a Toronto/Queen West vibe). Size of dishes and price were inversely proportionate I thought, so pretty decent value. We ordered one too many dishes after going for the appetizers as dinner approach. Service on the Friday was a bit odd but I was feeling forgiving since I got a call back from the owner herself when I called to inquire about when the live music started as I was meeting friends with whom I wished to converse! Service at brunch was exemplary.
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