2016 JOANNE KATES 100 BEST RESTAURANTS

The Spend A Little list represents Joanne’s favourite 50 Toronto restaurants at which two people can eat for under $65 excluding taxes, tip and drinks.

#11 Playa Cabana Barrio Coreano

Playa Cabana Barrio Coreano

From kalbi beef ribs to calamari with kimchi, the Mex/Korean member of the Cabana mini-chain (six restos) is a sweet funky room, its food superbly entertaining — and appropriately located in Koreatown. K-Mex slaw is a splendor of Korean cabbage with avocado and fresh cheese in delicate ginger sesame dressing. They do dynamite ceviche and great charcoal smoked chipotle flavoured wings with dots of blue cheese. Fab fusion is chicken kampungki, divinely ungreasy light rice flour batter-fried with wasabi mayo and salsa made from chipotle, sesame and gochujang (spicy fermented Korean sauce of soybeans, chile and rice). Short rib tacos are luscious with ancho, guajillo and mole. And for dessert, always, the Cabana trademark tres leches cake with satiny cream on top.


  • Playa Cabana Barrio Coreano
  • 642 Bloor St. W., Toronto (map)
  • 647-341-5188
  • www.playacabana.ca/barrio

  • Chef: Dave Sidhu, Jordan Beard
  • Cuisine: Mexican,Korean
  • Cost of dinner for two: $50
  • Hours: Tues. to Thurs. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri. 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sat. noon to 1 a.m.; Sun. noon to 11 p.m.
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Meals served: Lunch dinner
  • Veggie-friendly: Yes
  • Wines available: 4
  • BYOB?: No
  • Patio: No
  • Private party area: Semi-private
  • Wheelchair accessible: No
  • CC accepted: Yes
  • Parking: Green P behind, street parking
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