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Feb 17, 2006 08:30 AM

Upscale Mexican in Toronto

  • d

I'm looking for a list of upscale Mexican restos in Toronto. Can anyone help?

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  1. Mexican food is not something Toronto is really good at, let alone upscale Mexican. Anyway, the closest thing to what you're looking for may be Jalapeno at King and Bathurst. The food is decent by Toronto Mexican food standards and the ambiance is casual and comfortable, and definitely not grungy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Juniper

      Agree with your assessment and just want to emphasize that by no means is Jalapenos "upscale". But it is the closest you'll get in TO.

      1. re: bluedog

        What about La Mexicana (is that the name?) on Bathurst, between Lawrence and Wilson? It's been there for a long time. Not exactly upscale, but nice, from my recollection.

        1. re: Yongeman

          Dreadful place. Avoid at all costs. It's bad Mexican, even by Toronto standards.

          1. re: Ron

            We like "Mariachi's" on Yonge St, north of Davisville. It's not upscale...but, I can't really picture going to an "upscale" Mexican place! It's all about stuffing yourself with guacamole anyways....

            1. re: kathleen

              Totally agree with your recommendation...mexican is supposed to be laid back and relaxing.....Mariachi's is fantastic

    2. It's not "upscale" but Dos Amigos does a good job. One owner/chef is from Mexico, the other owner is from Ecuador. It often gets overlooked b/c it's isolated.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Gritseeker

        Dos Amigos is OK but very pedestrian. The food is generic with no real regional focus or flavor. Mexico's a big place but you'd never know it from their menu. It's overlooked because it's unremarkable.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Agreed. Another issue in aiming to serve authentic Mexican dishes would be the lack of availability of fresh authentic ingredients at a price that made business sense. I think there are a few of us on this board who will just continue to haunt Perola's and cook up authentic Mexican at home.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I've been curious about Eduardo's (the former Latitude on Harbord St.) since its transformation a couple of months ago, posting a query about it on this board, with no replies.

            Joanne Kates reviews it in today's Globe. I really do not understand this woman. She loves the place, not for its food (which she admits is not great), but because she is enamored of the owner's charm and warmth. What gives? Everything is either bland (including the mole, which is the reason she loves the version at Eduardo's), under-cooked, or over-cooked. She has no qualms about blasting other, more worthy restaurants in the city for her perception of their failings, yet she glorifies a restaurant that serves food that is mediocre, at best.

            I don't get it.

            5 Replies
            1. re: FlavoursGal

              For the record, and I am QUOTING here, JK praises the "clever, tiny tuna tacos of barely seared tuna in crisp taro slices topped with fab pico de gallo...impeccable micro greens, and a hot/cold splendour of tinyy shredded radishes", the "happy empanadas (of) thin delicate pastry with a lovely lamb filling", and the best mole suace she has ever had from Mexico City to Texas, calling it a "light suace with just enough undertone of chile, cinnamon and chocolate". Granted she calls the chicken that it accompanies over cooked and is disappointed by a tough lamb duo, a paella and a chocolate cake. The impression I had was that the chef often soars, but sometimes flies too close to the sun, as it where. Indeed JK seems impressed by judicously chosen dishes, the service and the value, and is disappointed that the quality is not uniform. Perhaps the chef will see this review and take her comments to heart. Indeed, for a board that laments the availability of good mexican food in this town perhaps a little encouragement is in order!

              1. re: bluedog

                And the references to Nana's latter years? I quote, "Barillo is the Nana of Harbord Street." Here's the review. Read all about Nana, everyone.

                You will notice that Ms. Kates begins her review by setting a particular tone which is hard to ignore. Although my taste buds and hers often clash, my initial post referenced what I read into her review. Yes, she did enjoy five of the ten dishes she sampled (not a terrific ratio). The five she found fault with revolved around a principal ingredient - not a side dish - or the temperature at which something was served.

                By the way, my post was not an attack on Eduardo's. It was a reaction to the hypocrisy of Joanne Kates, and her lack of professional objectivity in the face of one charming, and very cunning, restaurant owner. Since I've not been to the restaurant myself, I cannot comment on the food personally. It is likely that I would have a very different sensory experience from that of Ms. Kates. It is in the context of her remarks about the food and the owner of the establishment that I have submitted MY opinion.

                And I have every intention of trying Eduardo's out for myself. The reviews written by Joanne Kates have never dissuaded me in the past.

                1. re: FlavoursGal

                  A reminder- please focus on the chow, not the reviewer. If you'd like to discuss Joanne Kates, please post on the Food Media & News board. If you'd like to discuss the food and restaurants she reviews, please post here. Thanks.

                  1. re: FlavoursGal

                    Thanks for this reply FlavoursGal. Nicely balanced and I do appreciate your comments. Personally I enjoy JK's reviews and often agree with her...However, given the remarks from the Chowhound Team, why don't we both try Eduardo's for ourselves and post on that later this month :)

                    1. re: bluedog

                      I'm in total agreement, bluedog. I'm looking forward to experiencing Eduardo's hospitality for myself, as well as giving the kitchen the opportunity to shine on its own merits. I've never been one to judge a restaurant's food on the basis of its outward appearance or service, good or bad.

                      Hasta la vista! :-)