Location: 620 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1E4
Price Range: $$$$
After a dissatisfying dinner at Kadbanu (review will be up later), Raymond (Instagram: TravellinFoodie) and myself decided to head to Loka as we have always wanted to try this place. Started as a pop-up restaurant called Loka Snacks, Loka was Toronto’s first successful kickstarted restaurant by chef Dave Mottershall.
The menu at Loka isn’t very extensive – around 8 dishes for starters and mains – and they also have a eat the whole menu for $100. All the ingredients are sourced locally and the menu changed daily, thus some of the dishes I had for the night might no longer be available. The permanent items on the menu are pig head croquette and pig mack, and their house cured salumi board.
We were surprised to be served an amuse-bouche to start off the meal and a palate cleanser toward the end. Both Raymond and I found the ragu to be a bit salty, but still a nice way to start the meal!
The croquette had a nice crunch outside and it was soft on the inside. I found the sour cherries paired really well with the croquette, and the fermented mustard gave it just a kick to cut the sweetness from the cherries.
I mentioned on Instagram that the lean-to-fat ratio of the pork loin was a bit off, but Ayngelina from Loka clarified that it was intended that way since the meat was dry aged. Nonetheless, the meat was tender and melted in your mouth, and the spring greens along with the walnut gave some texture with each bite.
The beef bresaola was just a bit salty and the herbs are nicely balanced, with none of them being overly strong. The texture was perfect, soft but not raw feeling if you know what I mean. Unlike the traditional blue cheese, the devil rocks blue cheese was not too strong in taste and complimented perfectly with the beef bresaola.
The refreshing and not too sweet rhubarb granita was a perfect way to cleanse our palate prior to the dessert.
The yogurt was light and tangy, just a touch of sweetness from the compote but it was a bit too sour for my taste – thus overpowering the delicate hazelnut meringue.
Other than Bouillon Bilk in Montreal, Loka is by far one of the best meal I have ever had in Canada so far – other than Boralia whose review will be up later ;). The menu was well thought out and the food including the presentation were creative. I love that the chef – Dave has a no-waste, nose-to-tail philosophy so you can expect dishes to have small tweaks every night! Though Loka won’t be a regular visit due to its prices, I highly recommend this place and would love to come back whenever I have a chance!