Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Kay Pacha

Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Kay Pacha

Kay Pacha

Elias Salazar earned a cult following in 2016 with a pop-up of flashy modern Peruvian cooking at the Queen West bar Rush Lane. At his first restaurant, taking over a midtown corner previously held by the seafood restaurant Catch, he’s serving skewers of beef heart in a paste of Incan aji panca chilies (like a milder chipotle); ceviche marinated in a “tiger’s milk” of lime and fish juice, onions and chilies; and seafood fried rice topped with bites of butter-poached scallop, aji amarillo-pisco butter and béchamel. Potatoes, the national food of Peru, appear everywhere, and are elevated to godlike status in an elaborate tower of whipped yukon golds, pulled chicken, avocado, yuzu mayo and botija olive purée. Most nights, at the bar that takes up a big part of the modest room, a crowd of Lima expats knock back fanciful, pisco-based cocktails—it’s the liveliest party in midtown.

744 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-658-0568, kaypacha.ca

Salazar moved his popular pop-up on Queen West to the midtown corner previously occupied by seafood restaurant Catch.
Even the cocktails at Kay Pacha are striking.