Eating my way across the West Annex, and beyond

If there is one thing I really like to do (not unlike all of you as well) is eat. And I admit to a proclivity for eating out.
Bloor St between Bathurst and Spadina has an excellent selection of eateries. It is missing a good Italian place…ever since the $10 all you can eat Tres Fontaine disappeared several years ago we have been left with no representatives of the world’s greatest cuisine…except for decent pizza slices at Pizzaiola.

So, lets embrace our inner Asian selves and enjoy some good Japanese (and some Asian fusion) food.
I admit to a very strong initial reluctance to eat raw fish. I wasn’t going to let a sushi dish leave me with a metre long fish tapeworm. And I’ve seen them alive and up close.  But, although I still occasionally find myself wondering about diphyllobothrium infestation I have, nevertheless, given in to my inner need for fish in any form.
Since we have no Portuguese restaurants in the neighbourhood, we cannot immediately avail ourselves of the planet’s best prepared fish. Instead, we can still have very good fish on Bloor St.
After literally trying every Japanese sushi place on the strip, I initially settled on Sushi on Bloor (515 Bloor St W) as the best. It’s atmosphere is quite young, mainly students. It can be quite hectic. The noise level is loud, the lineups can be long. If you are there after about 6:45 you can expect to wait a while to get seated.

The food is generally very good and the prices are great. You can eat well for under $10. As with most of these sushi places salad and soup are included, as is a scoop of ice cream for desert.

If you don’t catch a line up and want a quick, good and cheap meal, you cannot beat Sushi on Bloor.

However, and it took me a couple of years of devoted loyalty to Sushi on Bloor before I was able to accept this, for about $1 more per entree, my current favourite restaurant has even better food and the decor is a bit nicer. But I am not going to name this eating establishment because I don’t wish to Galloway it (*def. `To Galloway`: To announce to a large audience a herebefore hidden treasure of a restaurant, which then becomes so overcrowded you can no longer get in. Named after Matt Galloway, after he outed the patio of Bairrada Churasqueira on the air during the summer 2010 World Cup.)

What I really like is that it is less crazy and busy than across the street. It is better suited to a more leisurely meal. And the fish on the rainbow rolls seems just a bit fresher here. But I think the teryaki meals are better at Sushi on Bloor as it comes with more, and better, vegetables.

My current fave is indeed one of the best prepared and best value restaurants in Toronto.

There are other good Asian and sushi places on the strip that I will speak of in future articles.

I want to give a notable mention here to a couple of other places worthy of some consideration. I really like the potato pizza slices that Enzo prepares Pizzaiola. Thats the Pizzaola near Howland and not the newer usurper closer to Spadina.

And now that Ghazale (beside the Bloor Cinema) has fish as part of their $6.99 dinner plate, they are a value, taste and heath oriented pit stop for a quick take out. You can eat there but it isn’t the most pleasant place to sit with only 2 seats and a line up of people. But, just to repeat myself, there is not a better value for a good solid meal than Ghazale’s.


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