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Restaurants

Playa Cabana Hacienda

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on July 17, 2013 / review policy

Playa Cabana HaciendaPlaya Cabana Hacienda is now open just down the street from original (and perpetually packed) Dupont location. The new spot from chef/owner Dave Sidhu takes over from the converted two storey Victorian that was until recently Vittorio's.

The interior has been stripped down to the original brick and selectively panelled with distressed woods. Oversized vintage road signs light the room with coloured bulbs and neon lettering, casting a pink, blue or yellow glow across the room depending on where you sit. Upstairs there's at least twice the seating with a front patio overlooking Dupont and plans for a future back patio that will add an additional 80 seats, though it might not be ready this season.

Playa Cabana HaciendaThe menu at this location differs slightly from the other two locations (the second being the Junction's Cantina). Here there are no big plates of rice and beans but rather a snack bar menu featuring bocaditos (snacks). tacos, tostadas and sweets.

Playa Cabana HaciendaMost of the tacos come in under $6 each. I try the chorizo pulpo ($6) loaded with octopus and Mexican chorizo filling doused in spicy poblano salsa and a sprinkle of queso fresco and baby greens. It's an individual sized serving of Spanish tapas composed onto a tortilla.

Playa Cabana HaciendaThe Lobster Tostada ($9) layered with a guacamole and lobster roe base, picked lobster meat and a fried claw on top is excellent as expected and tastes of the buttery crustacean throughout.

Playa Cabana HaciendaThe Short Rib de Queretaro tostada ($8) is subtly nutty thanks to the yellow almond mole and topped with fresh radish, cilantro and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. The single piece of meat and crisp base are not easy to eat gracefully but after a few margaritas it hardly matters.

Playa Cabana HaciendaI don't try any of the sweets but make I through a couple cocktails like Dave's Margarita ($9) shaken with Tromba Blanco, Cointreau and lime... unsweetened. The bar is fully stocked with 50+ tequilas, Mexican beers, sodas and fresh squeezed fruit juice.

Playa Cabana HaciendaThe kitchen aims, amongst other things, to cater to the midtown industry crowd and will stay open until 2am regularly. The second floor and upstairs patio will take reservations and eventually the snack bar will open for lunch.

Playa Cabana HaciendaPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

22 Comments

hmm.. / July 17, 2013 at 11:39 am
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Pretty sure PCH is trademarked by the California Highway Act.
dl / July 17, 2013 at 11:42 am
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yay! more junk food!
Hazzah!! / July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am
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Oh i like this.

Tacos. I can smell the originality from here.
michael / July 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm
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I wonder how many restaurants have been at this location ? no parking and out of the way from real transit - it is a great building too bad it is located where it is
Ben / July 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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Great pictures.
johnsonstarfish / July 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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I do not understand the appeal of Playa Cabana. Went there once and was thoroughly disappointed.
Keith replying to a comment from michael / July 17, 2013 at 01:18 pm
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>> out of the way from real transit
really? is a 10 min walk (from Rosedale subway station) too much to handle? And a nice area too.
Xander / July 17, 2013 at 01:33 pm
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Add a few more bike racks and a BIXI stand here and you'll have the perfect bike bate joint.
Tacoboy replying to a comment from johnsonstarfish / July 17, 2013 at 09:38 pm
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Not too different than their first location (lack of transit) but they seem to be doing great last I looked!
Jason replying to a comment from hmm.. / July 18, 2013 at 02:31 am
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Notwithstanding that Dupont and Avenue is in Canada and not California, or that trade-marks only apply to the sale of specific goods and services which are distinguishable from goods or services provided by others and not generally, or that the trade-mark of a design is restricted to the design itself and not the words contained within it, I'm pretty sure it's not trade-marked by the State of California http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=toc&;state=4810%3Ai08o94.1.1&p_search=searchss&p_L=50&BackReference=&p_plural=yes&p_s_PARA1=&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA1%24LD&expr=PARA1+AND+PARA2&p_s_PARA2=pch&p_tagrepl~%3A=PARA2%24COMB&p_op_ALL=AND&a_default=search&a_search=Submit+Query&a_search=Submit+Queryor in Canada for any purpose which would make this sign problematic
http://www.cipo.ic.gc.ca/app/opic-cipo/trdmrks/srch/bldSrch.do;jsessionid=0001pw6iAodBuZI6r5VmO1pqTSA:-13G1PO1?lang=eng&textField1=pch&selectField1=tm&submitButton=Search&andOr1=and&textField2=&selectField2=tmlookup_ext&andOr2=and&textField3=&selectField3=tmlookup_ext&andOr3=and&textField4=&selectField4=tmlookup_ext&andOr4=and&textField5=&selectField5=tmlookup_ext&selectWithin=&selectStatus=&checkboxTMType=&selectDateStatus=&fromDate=1865-01-01&toDate=2013-07-16&selectMaxDoc=500&selectDocsPerPage=10
lalala replying to a comment from Jason / July 18, 2013 at 05:32 pm
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You're not very bright, are you pal?
Dave / July 21, 2013 at 01:19 pm
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PCH Ltd. stands for Playa Cabana Hacienda Limited not pacific coast highway
matt / July 22, 2013 at 10:27 am
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The food looks tasty, but the decor is hilarious. It is such an ostentatious kitsch overload.

Fake old wood is officially FAKE!
michelle / July 23, 2013 at 10:50 am
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I hope the service is better than the junction location.
rayz / July 24, 2013 at 02:46 pm
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FYI....TTC is only a short walk
If you are in the real estate biz, there is a common 3 word phrase...."location. location, location" Yes parking is an issue for some, but this place is only a short stroll, from subways and Yorkville, where prices are higher and parking even more scarce, other than P parking lots. I wish I owned this location.
perfect end corner with a park next to it, and sure..park your bike in front. My guess, is this will be the hottest place
in T.O for a long time.
Concise / August 1, 2013 at 01:05 pm
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It's also half a block up Dupont from the perpetually full original restaurant. If so many people are willing to make the trek to that location, surely there'll be a lot of spill-over customers for the new place, even if the menus aren't the same.
Tom replying to a comment from michael / August 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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You deliever something good and it wont matter if its in the Arctic Circle...people will come.... How does one explain restaurants like Hasai and others that are 2 hrs from Toronto but are packed with reservations from Torontonians that are made weeks in advance. Like the old adage goes: "Build it and they will come"...lets just hope they can execute the model in multiple locations. It gets harder and harder. Terronis would be an amazing example of success with the multiple location model.
Bean / September 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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I went recelty in Playa Hacienda. Food is amusing specially Jerk lobster,Tres leche Cake, Guaca fresca. Nice and enjoyable atmosphere around the Playa. But House of the front team and service is so so. They doesn't concern for costumer only having drinks in the bar for themself.Company have to think about that.

I will be there again and again for Fantastic Tacos with my families and friends.......................
Amy Bilodeau / March 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm
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I had the opportunity to dine at Playa Hacienda last week and unfortunately it was a really awful experience.

I am a huge fan of Playa Cabana and was so excited to try this location. We had a reservation for 9:30 and arrived at 9am. We sat at the bar and ordered a pitcher of Margaritas. By 9:40 we had not been seated, and had to ask the Matradee repeatedly on the status of our table. Eventually we got the table closest to the door when you enter, which seemed to us to be a table that is typically prioritized for walk ins. Without droning on - we only had one visit from our waitress, the meals came out 20 minutes apart which is difficult when you're dining with 4 people, and they were cold. I ordered the Poblano stuffed peppers and the came out like fried pucks. My friend ordered enchiladas with mole and lobster, it came out cold and they brought her tacos instead. The waitress ignored us, the manager stepped in and spent 20 minutes with us and then left for the evening. Overall the experience was disappointing, took over 2 and half hours and ruined our evening.

I hope this was a one-off case but wanted to provide this as a caution to my fellow BlogTo foodies!
p / July 2, 2014 at 09:59 am
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had a good time there, food is good, service is good but kitchen is slow.. all around good place despite the fact that the name sounds like a Juggalo party
Mathew / July 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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Had a birthday dinner here. The kitchen was fairly fast considering comments saying it was slow and our table of 4 were there during the dinner rush. Recommend the corn starter as well as the shrimp!

Skip the fish taco's; very very bland... pretty disappointed. The actual restaurant has a cool environment and like it for that. Check out La Libre out back for some drinks!
fender lady / October 12, 2014 at 09:36 pm
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Service was RUDE, manager "Cal" called my friend a bitch, accused of arriving 30 mins late for our reservation, WRONG! We were 5 mins early and left us sitting to order for 30.

Bus boy sarcastic and lazy, forgot one of our meals, tried to give us a second portion of something we already received. Been there a bunch of times, service is always lacking but this visit took the CAKE!

WORST place ever!

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