469 Danforth Ave.
Rating: ** 1/2
Dinner & drinks for two: $35
Casa Sushi opened quickly. Keeping much of the previous tenant’s (the very good Bangkok Spoon) earth-toned interior, and relying on standard inexpensive sushi menu items, C.S. swiftly staked their claim on the restaurant-laden Danforth.
As to be expected, there are many disappointments and surprises. The menu offers no innovation. Instead, items you’re all too familiar and comfortable with.
Skip the undefeatable Fried Calamari ($4.95). Not only is it tough, it is supposed to come with “Sweet Sauce,” which our server denies, then brings us a dark sauce that we can’t identify.
My companion orders Curry Shrimp ($9.95), served with soup, salad, rice and dessert. Five darkly deep-fried, panko encrusted shrimp with sauce and sides might not be enough for some. The sauce, however, is dazzling. It builds, transforms and comforts. Wow.
Hmmm. My Bento Box Fuyu ($12.50) is suspiciously like Sushi Delight’s Special Box a couple of doors over — choice of cod or beef ribs, tempura, gyoza, salad, rice, salmon sashimi and six piece California roll. No comparison to their neighbour’s version — Sushi Delight wins out here.
Casa Sushi is new, but not revolutionary. And that’s the great thing about the Danforth. You are never far from another restaurant.
That’s Entertainment The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar (184 Queen St. W.) is a one-stop-deal. Hotel, restaurant — complete with large patio — and jazz club, The Rex is an amazing place to hang out. And while the menu is limited — nachos, burger, steak dinner, wings, sandwiches and sides — you get to hear great live music while you eat (19 shows per week). Just think — it’s like having your own downtown jazz festival all year round, in one convenient spot. www.therex.ca