Best New Restaurants 2015: #10, Rasa

Best New Restaurants 2015: #10, Rasa

Rasa | 196 Robert St., 647-350-8221

Mondays used to be dull before Adrian Niman came along. He and his business partner, Brent McClenahan, run a trendy catering company called the Food Dudes. Rasa is where he does his serious cooking—ambitious variations on gastropub fare, like sticky spareribs studded with crushed corn nuts, gnudi in a walnut pesto, and cheddar-stuffed jalapeño poppers wrapped in serrano ham. He’s a whiz with foams, emulsions and assorted kitchen stunts. His solution for the first night of the week, the slowest at any restaurant, is to invite indie bands to play stripped-down sets, and to offer $5 drinks and a $35 tasting menu. It’s a warm, low-key scene, with cooks from neighbouring restaurants passing through, Annex families crowded around their favourite tables and the band performing the occasional request, which earns a whoop from the room.