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Mar 29, 2011 05:27 PM

Little Coxwell Vietnamese/Thai review

This place used to be Pineapple Legend but is now called Little Coxwell.

The menu is different from before and there is new owners.

Ironically enough, the Thai episode of Street Eats came on the TV while I was there, making it an interesting meal.

I was generously given a pot of tea without having to ask for it which was great, some places try to cheap you out like that.

I ordered:

11. Shrimp Spring Rolls
66. Mango Fish (Lightly battered halibut on pan fried served with green mango salad)
78. Vietnamese ice coffee with condensed milk

I got 4 shrimp spring rolls, and they were a decent size shrimp in each of them. It was pretty good except that for some reason it tasted like there was a lot of black pepper in it, or at least that's what I thought. It didn't make them taste bad, it just became noticeable considering I was eating all 4 on my own.

The piece of halibut was huge! It really rivaled most of the fish and chip places I have been to in size. The batter was very light so there was no really intense flavour to this, which is good IMO as I get turned off from many Thai dishes when there is just way too much over powering flavour in the, Not that I am a fan of plain food, I just don't like foods that try to cram too many flavours into one dish.

The fish was light and flaky. I got the Rolls first that kept me busy and the main dish a few minutes after I finished them, just in time.

The mango salad that came with the halibut was good. No cucumbers! I don't like cucumbers so this is good for me. I will still eat a mango salad with cucumbers in it; I just don't like it when some places over load it almost as if they are trying to cheap out on the mango. Also, the mango was young and green, so it had that crisp and more sour taste (closer to a granny smith in apple comparison) which I like better than ripe orange mango most of the time.

The ice coffee was also good, and they brought me a second cup of tea. I was also given praise for my chopstick skillz as a whiteboy, and talked with them a little bit about different Chinese restos in the city, so they are very friendly.

Total was $25.15 including tax, and I gave a $5 tip.

I will definitely go back and report on some of the other things I try there, but for now I recommend this place for good prices and great food made fresh and timely, friendly atmosphere. Also, it seems that not too many annoying students from EYCI go there so you don't get a bunch of pimple faced loud mouths ruining your meal.

Little Coxwell
986 Coxwell Ave
East York


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  1. oh yah , i know that restaurant from my friend. there are alot of good food there. the mango salad with deep fried fish is one of my favorite meal there. I brought some other my friends there last week. they are really love it.we ordered the chicken cold rolls for the appertizer. its awesome, my friends love it and we ordered one more of that. my friend's son is so picky. he didnt eat much usually. but we were suprise that he eat the whole cold rolls and he finished the fried rice chicken by himself. yummy....we planned to go back there next week.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yucyapple

      Sorry I have not replied to this thread sooner -- but more people need to try this place and know how good it is. It seems to be a mother, father, brother and sister team and they are all super nice people.

      Hot and Sour Soup: I have had a lot of places serve this, Chinese and Thai, and have to say they make the best I have ever had. I love it here and I really feel that I am missing out now that I am out of the area.

      A few good dishes: The pork chops, delish. My son enjoys the beef ribs. There pho is excellent and she will show you how to eat it the proper way. All the appetizers that I've tried have been good also. And she is pretty, which is a bonus!

    2. I stopped in today for some pho. It was very good. Lots of fresh sprouts, basil and culantro on the side and a nice mix of scallion and cilantro on top. I had rare beef and brisket and there was LOTS of it, almost too much. The brisket wasn't too fatty and the rare beef was still rare. Good depth of flavour in the broth, all I added was some chili, but just a touch too much clove - it got overpowering at the end of the bowl - and it had a bit of lemongrass in it, which was unique. Only one size, quite large, for $7.75

      I'll be back to try some of their other dishes.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hal2010

        Love the Pho - especially the addition of that long leafed saw tooth cilantro, along with the basil, lime and more than one fiery Thai chilis. The owners are lovely, and very welcoming. The Thai style curry was a bit heavy for me, I think they use full fat coconut milk, but the Pho is great, no noticable fat globules floating around, great flavour, I ordered the rare beef, it was great. Shrimp rolls seem to be like President's Choice, but they're tasty.
        If you live anywhere nearby, and you like Vietnamese food, I would urge you to try this place!

      2. I am writing this as I slurp up my take-out chicken noodle pho. When I'm under the weather I crave pho, but I'm not a broth expert - was happy back in the day to get mine from Gingers when I worked around Yonge and Bloor, and now I get from Pho Dai Nam on Birchmount. However, being at home, I wasn't prepared to drive that far.

        It was mama in the kitchen and daughter out front. There were two tables occupied at about 1 pm, a group of adults and then a table of moms and babies. Was sweet to see one of the staff pick up one of the babies and show her off to mama in the kitchen while baby's mother got her coat on. As a parent I always appreciate a place that enjoys, not just tolerates, kids. I also appreciated the tea I was offered immediately after placing my order.

        Got home and realised in my sickness stupor I'd forgotten to get my seasonings, but happily they were included in the huge bag, along with a massive container holding the noodles, green onion, what looked like caramelized onions and nice big pieces of chicken. A separate smaller bag held my whole leaf saw tooth cilantro, a few huge leaves of basil (still on the stem) and the bean sprouts. Nice touch to ensure everything is fresh upon mixing.

        Broth tastes great (although I do have a cold)...I can see some glistening on the top of my broth, but nothing feels overly fatty. It's definitely hitting the spot and I will be back again for sure.

        ETA: The take-out serving could feed two pretty easily, esp if you add on an order of rolls. I also got an order of tofu cold rolls and am having trouble finishing the first half of my soup.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Fleming

          I'm not sure why I've not bothered to try this place out. I was quite surprised that this is yet another Vietnamese restaurant, which would make it the third occupying this space in the last 6 years. Pineapple Legend wasn't bad and the one before it (can't remember the name) was pretty good, so I can't figure out why those places failed, and someone new would bother with the same cuisine, using a name that seems to have nothing to do with Viet cuisine. Has anyone eaten at these two places, and how would this place compare? I'm happy to read some good reviews here and I really should just give it a chance.

          1. re: liverwurst

            I was there sonetime in Feb after reading about it here. It's OK, nothing special. I had ordered some pho, and fried fish and was quite surprised to see someone shaking a big box of Knoor broth mix into something after I ordered, I'm sure that is what they used for the pho.

            1. re: foodyDudey

              It wouldn't surprise me that they and other restaurants use something like that as a base. I know with pho broth, lots of other seasoning go into it. My mother does not start with a broth mix. She uses water along with lots of meat bones and seasoning for the the base, and her broth, while good, is a bit on the bland side, compared to the pho at the restaurants'.

              1. re: liverwurst

                The pho there was nothng special at all, I've had better from many other places that make their own.

                1. re: liverwurst

                  I've made the broth the same way as your mother once and couldn't believe how easy it was. I agree that it was bland compared to the salty MSG water you get at restaurants but it was incredibly aromatic considering the few ingredients used.

          2. Great place, great food, great price! Pho is terrific, and the fresh BBQ chicken rolls rock!

            5 Replies
            1. re: beachdemon

              Went there for dinner tonight with my husband...LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the I had in a long time....great service and great owners...we need to keep going there to help keep them going!!! :)

              1. re: bobinken

                It's a regular stop on my way home from the office! Some days I drive up there for lunch. Love the bun, spring rolls and the red curry. Very good pho, too.

                1. re: hal2010

                  I went in the other week to see if they had Banh Mi. They didn't, but she fried some pork and made me up a version on the spot. Will go back again soon to try the real dishes.

                2. re: bobinken

                  It's taken us a while to get there (I'd gone to Pineapple Legend) and now I regret not having been there sooner.

                  Fresh food, not $$$, pleasant service.

                  Have to say something about the decor. At first it was remarkable the difference from the last place, tho the bones are the same. And the fixtures and furniture are very basic, but it all comes together well and the room is comfortable. This tells me about thoughtfulness and attention to details and makes me want to go back.

                  1. re: neighborguy

                    So glad you liked it. Little firefly loves that place. I'm so happy to have it in the neighborhood for when I don't want to cook!

              2. This restaurant has become a regular takeout place for me. I live in Leaside but the places on Bayview don't even come close. Satay on the Road? Haha!

                The vermicelli with pork or chicken, a spring roll and fresh herbs is great, as are the curries and the spicy eggplant. My only complaint - an order of spring rolls is overpriced at $5 for 2. They are good, but $3.50 good.