half-assed restaurant review

>> Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Since I generally like to give my opinion on things (i.e. talk a lot and be right), I have decided to try to be useful while I’m at it. The following are some half-assed restaurant reviews. I call them that because, for the most part, I tend to leave out the critical piece of reviewing the actual food. Plus, I am not one of those people who takes pictures of food at restaurants (a.k.a. a douche) or someone who can be bothered to pull out a notebook and write down immediate reactions to each course (a.k.a. someone who gets paid for this). I tend to have better things to do at the dinner table. Food reviews can be found elsewhere, but my opinion? Only available here, my friend.
So here’s one to start with:
This place has been getting well-deserved good reviews so far, but most of the original hype about Toronto’s first ‘real’ izakaya restaurant (something I admit I’d never heard of before) has been overwhelmed with talk about the no-reservations policy and extremely long wait-times. Usually there is some kind of tie-in to other restaurants with similar policies (Pizzeria Libretto, Black Hoof) and a broader commentary on restaurant hype and trends in Toronto. Oh god, find something else to talk about. Here's what I think the place:
I had dinner at Guu twice last month. I like it. It’s fun. The staff yell greetings to you when you arrive (and farewells when you leave), they yell the names of dishes (I think) as they make them, the servers and chefs are all very friendly, the atmosphere is lively. The slate stone walls and dark wood décor feel like an updated inn or tavern. Diners sit at long wooden communal tables with a few tables off to the side for couples and smaller groups and the kitchen is open so you can watch all the chefs at work. It’s modern and comfortable. I also really dig the bare light bulb ‘chandeliers’. Maybe I could put one in over my dining table? Oh, and the food is really tasty. It comes in small dishes made for sharing, a bit like tapas or dim sum but Japanese and meant for dinner. I find it’s best to go with a group (4-6 is ideal) so everyone can order multiple plates and try everything. I highly recommend the tuna sashimi and the beef tongue (it's not gross, I swear).
They also have really cute vintage Japanese beer ads on the walls. 
I did not take this photo and have never seen the place this empty.
Personally, I'm just glad they didn't decide to open up in midtown as originally rumoured and instead opened up on Church, south of Carlton. This is great because a) it's close to me; b) that area could really use some sprucing up; and c) I hate midtown. I see Guu as the kind of place to stop by for a delicious, relaxed dinner with friends on a Friday night; a regular place to go to once the hype dies down…a Friday night is not really an option at this point. I recommend hitting it up early in the week around 6pm. It’s true what they say about the lines.
Bottom line: Highly recommend; plan in advance.


traveller February 10, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

I love Guu and I love your review of it, even tho it was half-assed. I'm impressed you're keeping up with your blog! My updates have been a big FAIL ever since the holidays ended...story of my life...starting something big and then fail to finish!

b February 10, 2010 at 5:53 PM  

Thanks! it helps that I'm a bit bored at work at the moment, but I think I may drop off soon too once the new job starts!

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this here ma blog.

I like to talk about things I have no particular expertise in. Especially music.

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