JaBistro, the youngest member of the Guu family in Toronto, launched its lunch service last week. And while the considerable buzz it has attracted is mostly due to its aburi sushi, which is blowtorched, and its oshizushi, which is pressed into perfect little rectangles, the most interesting item on the small midday menu comes from the “bistro” side. The demi katsu ($18) is a modern Japanese take on a Western fried pork sandwich. A thick cutlet of deep-fried loin is drizzled with demi-glace and served between slices of fluffy white bread with a lightly dressed slaw. The crunchy and umami-laden sandwich arrives trimmed into four dainty bricks, and is served with a simple green salad and a cup of the day’s soup (potato-leek-spinach on our visit). It’s a welcome departure from the boring bento boxes that dominate Japanese lunch menus.
The cost: $32 including tax, tip and a warm mug of ginger hoji tea ($6).
The time: 37 minutes.