First Look: Seven Lives, a new Mexican spot in Kensington Market
By Karolyne Ellacott
The Gobernador (Images: Karolyne Ellacott)
A few weeks back, we broke the news that the beloved Kensington Market stall, Agave Y Aguacate, had shuttered its doors. Fortunately, those hankering for more Mexican fare didn’t have to wait long for their fix: Seven Lives, offering up So-Cal and Tijuana-style grub, has just set up camp in its place.
After growing up in San Diego—a stone’s throw from the Mexican border—Sean Riehl recently moved to Toronto in order to be closer to his family. Over the past two years he’s has been busy perfecting his recipes while working various gigs around town—including a stint at Mother’s Dumplings.
“I was trying to find a way to do this full-time,” Riehl explains, noting that heading up a restaurant is a rather pricey endeavor. Running a taco stall at the past three Toronto Underground Markets helped spread the word, and when the space at the El Gordo food court became available, Riehl jumped at the chance.
The menu rotates daily, but we’re told there will always be meat, fish and veg tacos available.
“I’m most confident about my smoked marlin taco,” Riehl notes.
The so-called Gobernador pairs smoked marlin with shrimp, and is topped with red onions, pico de gallo, and a bit of of crema ($5). Procuring his seafood from the market, other fishy fare includes the Baja fish taco: a medley of deep-fried mahi mahi is matched with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and some crema ($4). Sauces include salsa verde, a roasted tomato number, and a habanero pick, which is accompanied by an “eat at your own risk” warning. Patrons can mow down on their tacos on the back patio, while cooling off their palates with some fresh watermelon juice ($1).
Seven Lives, 214 Augusta Ave., 416-803-1086