Barrio Coreano

The holidays have come and gone and that means life can return to normal. Normal to me means eating good food with good people: on Wednesday night Cynthia and I went to Barrio Coreano.

Barrio Coreano is Playa Cabana‘s fourth restaurant that is Korean-Mexican fusion food. The vibe is the same as their other locations: funky, eclectic and a mix of found items and repurposed items. The menus are written on the wall without descriptions, a trend I hate, but we have an overly excitable server who explained every menu item in depth. We started out with cocktails and guacamole, a must at any Mexican restaurant. We then had three tacos each ($5/taco, pretty standard) and more cocktails.

The Yuzu Tuna taco.

Yuzu Tuna TacoPhoto Credit: Toronto Life
The Yuzu Tuna taco with tempura fried ahi tuna with jicama, purple cabbage slaw and yuzu dressing.

The fish was flaky, tender and slightly sweet in a gentle covering of batter. The slaw was sweet and crunchy. The jalapeno peppers added a kick of heat that added a deeper layer of flavour and cohesion to the taco. This was tasty but still, my favourite fish taco is still at La Carnita.

The Grilled Octopus with Wasabi Salsa.

Octopus TacoPhoto Credit: Toronto Life
Grilled octopus taco with wasabi, daikon and avocado pico de gallo.

The octopus was tender and citrusy, grilled lightly to ensure it wasn’t rubbery and tough. The wasabi added a unique heat to the taco which added a deeper level of depth of flavour then your traditional heat inducers don’t add. The avocado added creaminess. The flavours and textures of this taco were complex but working in perfect harmony together.

The Korean Beef Taco Beef TacoPhoto Credit: Toronto Life
Korean Beef taco with Korean barbecue beef with house-pickled pears

This was my favourite of the three tacos. The beef was tender and easy to bite into. It was juicy and the sauce was spicy but sweet. Korean flavours start of as sweet and then hit you with a subtle heat that builds through the meal. The house-pickled pears reinforced the Korean theme of the taco and add a fresh, cool, crispiness that helped ease the spicy burn with every bite.

I really enjoyed my meal here. The cocktails were different and unique, but still well priced. The tacos had a real depth of flavour that made them complex but still enjoyable and not too overpowering. And of course, the company was unparalleled.

Definitely worth the trip to Koreatown – happy munching!


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