Every review I've read of Live has awarded it five stars. Restaurant critics just drool over the place. Any what's not to like? Great philosophy, brilliant flavours and good atmosphere. It's been so popular they've grown from four seats to five times that amount in no time.
On the evening I decide to go I called in advance and was told to just show up as they don't take reservations; and that they should have no problem seating us. When our group of three arrives we found the place packed (a good sign).
The manager was sort of apologetic but promised to have us seated in a staging area near the kitchen momentarily. 25 minutes later we're sitting. In the staging area. We get some drinks and chill; and are informed that we'll be shifted to a real table "in a couple minutes". Two drinks later we're still waiting.
Note to manager: lose the idea of a staging area.
Eventually we graduate to the main dining area and take a glance at the menu. It looks good. There's a raw food section and a heated food section. We're told the menu changes every month or two.
One dish stands out from the pack. It's a raw food sampler. It's not a lot of food but it tastes great.
For my main course I select a raw food version of enchiladas (above). They were already featured in the sampler so I know what I'm getting into.
Someone else opts for the raw pizza (below). Intense flavours but a little disappointing the portion is so small. On that note, it seems the kitchen tries to make the plates look bigger by loading each one up with a side salad.
A morrocan stew (below) comes from the heated section of the menu. It's the biggest portion by far but it lacks interesting flavour and disappoints.
Overall, I enjoyed the food at Live, but feel the service still needs to iron out some kinks. I also think that this is the kind of place you might go home hungry. An app and a main - side salads and all - just might not fill you up.
More photos! They have gluten free beer on the menu. This was a real treat as I don't know any other restaurant in the city that serves this.
Here's a photo at the entrance to the restaurant.
Live, 258 Dupont (at Spadina). 416.515.2002