Chef Steve Gonzalez’s greatest invention is a riff on the Peruvian fried rice dish arroz chaufa. He serves his in a heated stone bibimbap bowl and adds duck confit, squeaky-fresh edamame and tobiko, then stirs it all together with egg and enough chili to let you know he isn’t messing around. I’d easily scrape away at the rice grains caramelized on the bowl’s surface all night on my own.
But, like Valdez—Gonzalez’s last King West spot, which closed to make way for a condo tower—Baro is designed for partying, with its sharing plates of ponzu-spiked hamachi ceviche and beef empanadas (both commendable), and its long (very, very long) list of tequilas. There’s even a secret lounge on the second floor that’s only accessible with a password that changes daily. I’m content with my crunchy rice.
485 King St. W., 416-363-8388, barotoronto.com