Calii Love is the newest addition to Toronto’s King West hip food scene. This California-inspired Hawaiian poké bar and café aims to please the masses – and it does. If you are in the area, waking home from work or just finished at the gym this place is the perfect place to drop in for a quick healthy bite.
What is poke? Well, poke is raw tuna or salmon marinated in shoyu (a by-product of miso that is thicker then typical soya sauce) and it is delicious!
With a healthy ‘Californian Surfer Lifestyle’ in mind, Calii Love’s menu is made up of coffee, acai bowls, super-food smoothies and poké bowls that are all named after emotions and aim to help you find balance in your bustling city life. All ingredients are sustainable and locally sourced and the seafood is delivered twice a day to ensure quality and freshness.
This week I got to sit down with Dan Gunam, one of the owners of Calli Love who described how the menu was inspired by LA’s clean eating lifestyle and a surfer’s diet. Apparently it is typical for a surfer to have a smoothie bowl in the morning before a big ride and a poké bowl for lunch to re-energize, all while maintaining a clean diet.
The restaurant has already been visited by numerous celebrities during TIFF including John Legend, Ann Hathaway, Ryan Gosling, and Natalie Portman, many of who’s signatures can be seen on one of the surf boards that line the walls of the restaurant.
The restaurant features a very bright, energetic, colourful, and clean interior and holds both a large family-style communal table along with small individual tables, and of course free WiFi for patrons. If you typically like to set up shop in a café and work on your laptop like me this is a great alternative to your regular cafe and you don’t have to worry about binging on pasties because they don’t have them.
Other cool features about the restaurant include a second floor that will soon be used to host pop-up yoga classes (coming in 2017).
What did I order? A customized poké bowl with spicy salmon, edamame, radish, tobiko, green onion, pickled ginger and wakami. To drink I had an ‘Awakened’ smoothie and a cappuccino with my face drawn in it by the incredible Barista Brian- what an awesome party trick!
To see their full menu click HERE