Live Organic Food Bar was one of Toronto’s first organic restaurants, opening its doors in 2002. I originally reviewed them in 2012 (see here), and have visited many times since to enjoy their delicious organic fare. When my parents told me about their new menu items after eating there a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to go and try them – and the opportunity arose tonight.
The menu still features many of the same items that have been favourites for years, and the new items aren’t marked, so ask if you aren’t sure what is new, and if you have never been, try something from every category on the menu. Their starters are all fun to share with one or many others, and their cooked main dishes include burritos (both are great), burgers and various bowls. Their salads are made to be full meals and include full descriptions, so you can choose just want you want, and if you have never had raw vegan food, this is a great place to try it – things like perogies are made with raw jicama shells and their sushi is rice free! They have an extensive drink menu including smoothies, elixirs, teas, beer, wine and cocktails.
My mom and I used deductive reasoning to figure out what we would get in order for me to try a couple new things. We started with the Lox Platter (cured smoked carrot “lox”, cashew cheese, beet hummus, olives, red onions, capers, sauerkraut, cucumbers, pickled veggies, gluten-free baguette, and a gluten-free bagel). Everything went great together in so many different combinations – their carrot lox is especially delicious and has an awesome smoky flavour, I would say the best I’ve tried (although I’ve only tried 3)! Also, although I do not love beets, I have always liked beet hummus, but I also surprised myself by loving the yellow slices of pickled beet on our board, proving once again that it’s always worth trying things and being open-minded. I did try capers again, and despite loving pickles and olives, they are not (yet) my favourite! The second dish we shared was the Taro Root Poutine with mushroom miso gravy and cashew mozzarella. This dish was a real treat, with a great pool of gravy at the bottom of the bowl to finish off with a spoon. Next time, I will order with double mozzarella to get a bit more creaminess in there!
Since I was still hungry after sharing these two large dishes, I ordered myself the Mung Bean Pancakes, which are not a new dish, but are so great! They are served as two savoury pancakes on a bed of fresh arugula with maple miso dressing, spicy hemp cream and topped with a pile of their housemade kimchi. I do like the flavour of kimchi, but my mother ate most of the kimchi, while I devoured the pancakes and greens. You can buy these pancakes at retail locations where Live’s products are sold, but I recommend eating them at their restaurant to truly savour them.
I also really enjoyed the fresh Turmeric Ginger Ale topped with chia seeds for extra hydration and creative texture!
For dessert, I really wanted to try their Ice Cream Float (made with Crazy D’s soda and The Chufa Co.’s tiger-nut ice cream!), but they were unfortunately out of ice cream, so I’m taking my little brother’s word for it that it’s delicious (check out him enjoying it here)! I will be back for this!
I can’t wait to go back to Live again soon and eat my way through the menu. Remember to support restaurants that support organic! With so many buying organic for their families at home for good reason, it’s time that we ask our restaurants to do so too!