GUU SakaBar ★★★★1/2

Price: Over $20, $6-8 per dish

Similar to GUU Izakaya review, GUU SakaBar has a more limited menu but basically is the same. They have Tatami mats, which is something different so I would visit just to see what its like.

I introduced a friend to this restaurant and now she’s a fellow GUU fan! Definitely foodie goodness! I suggest trying the GUU cocktail drinks such as Cherry Blossom (very sweet) and possibly Three Samurai (I see a lot of people having that recently).

Website: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/
Menu: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/sakabar/menu/
Location: 559 Bloor Street W, Toronto, ON, M5S 1Y6
Phone: (647) 343-1101
Hours:
Monday to Thursday: 5pm – 11:30pm
Friday to Saturday:  5pm – 12:30am
Sunday:  5pm – 11:30pm

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GUU Izakaya Toronto ★★★★★

Price: Over $20, $6-8 per dish

GUU = DELICIOUSNESS!! They are so popular that there is a slang for when you want to eat there. GUU-ING! As in “lets go GUU-ing!” Haha. Now, you either hate or love eating here. The reason being: its always packed, they don’t take reservations, line-ups are akin to clubs, its always loud and dish portions are small compared to what you are use to in North America.

To navigate your way through this and get the best “GUU-ing” experience possible..here are a few tips I would suggest following:

1) Keep your group small, the less people you have the easier it will be to seat you.
2) Go when they open, its easier to get in. Otherwise, you could be stuck waiting 20 mins+ for a table.
3) Order in one go. If possible, check the menu before going and know what you want. Its always packed so food takes a while to get to you. Keep in mind there is a 2 hour max seating time.

It’s really easy to rack up a bill but I suggest trying their Takoyaki – deep fried octopus balls ($5.00), Enoki Hotate Bacon – enoki mushrooms and scallop wrapped in bacon ($6.00), Yakiudon Noodles – pan fried udon noodles w/ beef and veggies ($7.80), Buta Kimchi Bibimbap – rice, spicy ground pork, kimchi, egg in a hot stone pot ($8.80) and for dessert Banana Tempura – fried banana w/ coconut ice cream ($6.00).

Great for casual dinner with friends and family, possibly dates if you don’t mind the noise. Note: If it is your first time, dont worry if you hear all the staff yelling when you come in or leave..they are just greeting and saying goodbye in Japanese. I previously visited with a friend once and she was startled by this.

Note: There is a new GUU location in Toronto, called GUU SakaBar. Their menu is a little bit more limited but still worth a visit because they have tatami mats.

Website: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/
Menu: http://www.guu-izakaya.com/under/menu/TorontoFoodMenu.pdf
Location: 398 Church Street, Toronto, ON, M5B 2A2
Phone: (416) 977-0999
Hours:
Monday to Friday: 5pm – 11:30pm
Saturday & Sunday:  4pm – 11:30pm

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Xe Lua Restaurant ★★★

Price: Under $20

This is a Chinese restaurant, a good place to eat but I wouldn’t recommend getting their pho. Personally, I don’t really like their pho when I compare it to my usual standards. They use larger noodles then normal and like most asian restaurants, the cleanliness of utensils are in doubt. So you must remember to wipe them throughly before eating. You are given a complimentary standard tea.

I recommend the dish with mix of noodles, beef, lettuce and shrimp grilled on sugar canes. It was good! My dessert was a drink consisting of milk, crushed ice, beans, jelly and etc. However, I don’t recommend my dessert now because they either buy it from a store or pre-make it. So it is not as fresh. Go with their shakes/smoothies.

One of the good and bad things with this restaurant is that it opens late. You can come here for a late bite after clubbing but you also need to be prepared to wait a while for a table and see some drunk rowdy behaviour occasionally.

Good to eat with family and friends mainly. Very Casual.

Website: Not Available.
Location: 254 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON M5T 2C2
Telephone: (416) 703-8330

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Rol San ★★1/2

Price: Under $15

I went here with some family and we had fried noodles, dim sum, fried octopus legs, dumplings with shrimp and veggies, sticky rice, rice noodle roll (which i refer to as bánh cuốn). bánh cuốn is a thin rice noodle roll filled with shrimp. It can also be filled with pork, beef, vegetables, or other ingredients. They are usually available as a morning dish, same with dim sum. But both can be ordered before 4pm at this restaurant. I also had crab claws and they cost $2-4 each.

I liked everything except the dumplings with vegetables and possibly the fried noodles. They were OK. Everything else was not bad. Service was quick too even though it was packed and we went during 4-5pm.

Website: Not Available.
Location: 323 Spadina Ave, Toronto, ON, M5T 2E9
Telephone: (416) 977-1128

Rol San on Urbanspoon

Pho Hung – Bloor ★★1/2

Price: Under $15

Went with a friend to this restaurant on Bloor St. I had the vermicelli noodles with fried pork, shredded pork, spring rolls and vegetables. For a large bowl, its $11. I also had pho here and it’s not bad.

I have recently read some reviews for this place and was surprised by some of the complaints. Reviewers said they were asked to bring their own containers if they wanted to bring leftovers home or didn’t get napkins when asked, etc. That’s never happened to me before, as its expected be complimentary and standard service in a restaurant. I went here another time and my friend who ordered an egg and rice dish. She had an issue with how uncooked her egg was and I encouraged her to just ask them to recook it – which the waiter was only happy to take back and cook again.

Good for a casual lunch/dinner with friends.

Website: Not Available.
Location: 200 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 1T8
Telephone: (416) 963-5080

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