Loga's Corner in Parkdale's Little Tibet is a family-run operation that comprises a tiny takeout spot and a modest cafe a couple of doors down. It isn't really located on a corner, but there actually is a Loga. He and his family moved here from Northern India, where they were Tibetan refugees working in the farming biz.
The takeout section - with a few small tables and framed Dalai Lama pics galore - specializes in Tibetan momos (dumplings) made from scratch by Loga's wife, Dolma Yangchen. (She can't speak very much English, but she sure can cook.) There wasn't a menu when we visited, but someone will happily tell you what your options are if you ask.
After you get your food, you can take it over to the living-room-like cafe (complete with couch, non-working fireplace and wifi), which was formerly Fat Lava Vintage Coffee and is currently run by Loga's son, Dorjee Passang. Here, you can get a big mug of readymade butter tea ($1.25), the staple creamy, salty caffeinated Tibetan beverage of choice.
Dorjee can also prepare espresso-based drinks pulled on a Nuova Simonelli. Again, there's no posted menu here, but the options range from a straight-up espresso ($2.25) to an Americano ($2.75), cappuccino ($3.25) or latte ($3.75).
We dig into the food. Pre-made aloo momos ($1 each) are deep-fried potato dumplings of dough mixed with potatoes and cumin. They're huge, substantial and tasty. Condiments like ketchup and homemade hot sauce aren't really necessary, but I can never resist trying homemade hot sauces, and this one has a good spicy kick to it.
Freshly made parathas (two for $5) are like thin roti, and come stuffed with curried potato and green onion. They're served with a yogurt dip that acts like sour cream, and combined with a drizzle of hot sauce, make for some satisfying eats.
Then of course, there are the momos. You can choose from beef or veggie, and they can be ordered steamed (10 for $6) or fried (10 for $7).
Loga shares a wise strategy for momo-eating newbies: to avoid getting splashed - or worse yet, burnt - by scalding hot juices when you bite into these plump packages of pleasure, nibble off a small corner first to release some steam and suck out the flavourful liquid trapped inside before devouring the rest of the dumpling.
Momos qualify as one of my ultimate comfort foods, and you really can't go wrong here with the super friendly service and affordable prices. The family moved here to give Dorjee's two younger siblings better opportunities, and I'm glad they did, because Toronto definitely benefits too.
Photos by Jesse Milns.