Anh of Hangry Foodies got word that there were going to be some delicious items on the ever-changing menu at the Loka restaurant and since we all wanted to try out the bone marrow and Nova Scotia lobster dishes, right after our dinner at Antler Kitchen & Bar, we went to Loka for a second dinner. 😀 (That’s also the reason why we ended up not ordering a lot of dishes at the Canadian restaurant Antler this time around.)
We arrived at Loka situated at 620 Queen Street West just before 8 p.m. There actually weren’t a lot of people here and we were able to take our pick of table to sit at. They have an open kitchen concept but only those sitting right up front at the counter can really see up close at what the chefs are up to. I was excited about trying Loka seeing as their dishes were locally sourced and seemed quite inventive! (I love these small dishes kind of restaurants!)
Thus, we ordered the “Smoked Bone Marrow, Quail Egg, Herb Salad” and the “Butter Poached Lobster Tail, Braised Oxtail, Leek Potato Purée” to share. I realize that not only does the design of their open kitchen concept resemble that of Dandylion’s, but also the way each of the items on the menu were written — Dandylion’s menu also only showed three ingredients in each of its names (view my post of Dandylion here).
Before our mains arrived, we were served first with an amuse bouche dish. I love amuse dishes! We were also given fancy plates to share the meals with.
The “Smoked Bone Marrow, Quail Egg, Herb Salad” arrived first and I loved the artisty of the presentation of the plate. The quail egg was done sunny-side up and so cute among the darker colours of the bone marrow. I really enjoyed the crunchy pork rinds.
The smoked bone marrow was absolutely delicious though!! I am a huge fan of bone marrow and this one definitely would consider to be one of the best-tasting ones I have ever had. The bone marrow inside the segment was fatty, juicy, and more than ample to spread on the crostini. The herb salad was also just as delicious and was a perfect savory fit with the bone marrow. Even the herb salad by itself on the crostini was perfection! Loved this dish!
The “Butter Poached Lobster Tail, Braised Oxtail, Leek Potato Purée” was also beautifully presented. Who can say no to lobster and especially when it is glorious chunks of tender lobster tail poached in butter? The lobster tail was delicious! I could have licked the plate too actually haha. The braised oxtail was a thin crunchy layer.
We finished off our second dinner with a dessert, the “Chocolate Beet Cake, Hazelnut Meringue, Black Cherry Curd”. One of our foodie friends was allergic to hazelnuts so the kitchen was able to substitute the hazelnut with something else. The service here was exceptional that night; probably because the owner knew that Anh was a food blogger and thus wanted to impress (assumptions on my part). Upon seeing that we took numerous pictures of the food before we eat, they even turned on the lights above our table so that we could get better lighting.
I really adored this dessert! The chocolate beet cake was so moist and soft and chocolaty but you could still distinguish the beet inside of it. It was a unique ‘chocolate cake’ for sure. The black cherry curd and the crunchy bits on top of the dessert were a great combination to the cake. Delicious!
I had a very good impression of Loka and would definitely return again to try more of their dishes. We could have even had a separate full dinner here so that we could have tried out more of their dishes. Loka’s menu changes daily so it’ll be great to return in the future and try different dishes. I had never heard of Loka before this visit and I definitely think they could belong in a
top 15 best restaurant or something (silly me; they are named Top 20 Best New Restaurants by Toronto Life and also Best New Restaurant in Toronto in 2015 by Now Magazine!) — I love their inventive dishes and presentation of the dishes. This restaurant is definitely fancier than most people would anticipate seeing as their storefront is quite ordinary. My opinion though. 🙂
Have you been to Loka before? What was your experience like? 🙂