NOW Magazine - Best of Toronto - - Food -

LAIDE 138 Ade­laide East, 416-850-2726 In­stead of a se­ries of shared dishes served over a leisurely tip­ple, tapas to most area res­tau­ra­teurs trans­lates as smaller plates and higher prices. As prim­i­tive porno loops un­spool above the bar of this louche east-side lounge, chef Sam Gas­sira’s con­cept­cor­rect aps (snack-sized and cheaper than mains) – pan-fried lamb and cashew gy­oza, hoisin-glazed baby back ribs – al­most steal the show.

LINDA 335 Yonge, 416-971-7041 When Salad King’s Ernest Liu over­hauled his popular Bangkok-style cafe­te­ria, he trans­formed its un­used sec­ond floor into an el­e­gant supper club for his wife, Linda Liu. Along with a new up­mar­ket look, she also in­stalled a six-course $49 prix fixe meal deal and a fu­sion-in­spired card that in­cludes Toronto’s priciest pad thai. Mind you, at $16.50 a pop, it does come with wild prawns from the Gulf of Mex­ico.

OWL OF MIN­ERVA 700 Bloor West, 416-538-3030; 5324 Yonge, at Churchill, 416-221-7275 Toronto’s come along way since Fran’s was the only 24/7 op­tion in town. This ex­tremely ca­sual Korean café doles out bowls of fiery goulash-style pork bone soup round the clock to the se­ri­ously hung-over round the clock. Beats a cheese­burger at Vesta Lunch any time of the day.

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