After taking a desperately needed nap after our flight from Los Angeles, we headed out towards Chinatown to browse around and figure out what to do for dinner while also sightseeing. I fired up Google Maps on my iPhone and followed the directions walking down Wellington Street to Spadina Ave.. From Spadina Ave., we just started walking north towards Chinatown and taking in the sights of Toronto along Spadina Ave. which according to Wikipedia is “one of the most prominent streets in Toronto”. During our walk through Chinatown, we walked in front of a Scotiabank so I took the opportunity to withdraw some cash. Toronto’s Chinatown looked, smelled and felt like any other Chinatown such as the ones in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. There were the familiar hanging roast ducks and roast whole pig along with Chinese Bakeries and restaurants advertising dim sum.Eventually, we reached Baldwin Street and we walked west on Baldwin Street into the Kensington Market neighborhood. The neighborhood reminded me of the Mission District in San Francisco but with a lot more indie shops, restaurants specializing in Hispanic, Organic, and Fusion Foods, graffiti, marijuana and fruit and vegetable stores. The buildings in the Kensington Market neighborhood were charming even with the graffiti “art” on many of them. According to online sources, Kensington Market is a National Historic Site of Canada. My parents and I walked through the neighborhood, and it does have its charms but it also was not really for us. While walking back out to Spadina Ave., I spotted a Korean Restaurant in the middle of Chinatown and after consultation with my parents and Yelp, we decided to give the restaurant a try. I would have preferred something more Canadian, since were were in Canada, but I was hungry after having no lunch earlier. At first, we were a little worried because the restaurant did not have very many customers inside. We sat down and looked over the menu and the pictures on the wall of some of their dishes. The three of us finally settled on ordering two soups, one kimchi and pork stir-fry and one grilled mackerel fish. Soon after we ordered, the traditional Korean side dishes came out. After tasting the four side dishes, we were getting a little scared about how the dishes that we ordered short time ago would taste. The four side dishes were frankly terrible and if the restaurant was located in Los Angeles, it probably would have gotten negative ratings on Yelp just for the bad side dishes. But, just as we thought all hope was lost, the kimchi and pork stir-fry came out and we were quite surprised with the taste! It was GOOD! Then came the two soups and both of them were very refreshing and GOOD! The grilled mackerel was ok, nothing special and a little burnt. While we were eating, the restaurant got busier and busier and by the time we left, it was almost full. Seor Ak San Korean Restaurant on Spadina Ave. completely surprised us on taste but their side dishes definitely needs improvement when compared to Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles. During dinner, my dad and I ordered the “Lemon Soju” to share. It was very lemony and also tasted like Sprite or some other lemon lime soda was mixed into it. I could not taste the soju at all. For some this is a good thing, but I myself like a little bite from my liquors.
Once we were finished with dinner, we headed south on Spadina Ave. back to where our hotel is. We went inside a LCBO store that we passed by earlier to see what a government controlled liquor store looked like. The LCBO was very clean and reminded me of a smaller BevMo than a corner liquor store which were used to in Los Angeles. LCBO stores are owned and operated by the Ontario Provincial Government. You won’t be able to buy liquor, beer or wine in grocery stores or gas stations in the Province of Ontario.After leaving the LCBO, we stopped at a Petro Canada gas station that was selling cases of bottled water. I paid the guy working the register for the case of water, and then we walked back to our hotel to drop off the case before continuing our walk towards Lake Ontario. With a short break in our room completed, we walked down Windsor St and across Front St to get to the Rodgers Center and CN Tower complex. Since we had reservations for the CN Tower for the following day, we just walked past it and took photos of the light show. We eventually make it to York Street and followed it all the way South until we reached Lake Ontario. There wan’t much of the lake to see in the dark, but the city and CN Tower lights were beautiful from the lakefront. The lakefront was windy and chilly and I was glad I remembered to bring my jacket on the walk. Once I was done taking pictures, we started our walk back to the hotel. Just as we were getting closer to our hotel, my mom saw Boston Pizza on the corner of Front and John Street. She suggested that we go have a snack before calling it a night. My dad and I laughed but neither one of us objected to the idea. We were on vacation, and dieting can wait until we got back home. At Boston Pizza, we ordered a Pesto Pizza(Don’t remember the exact name), Buffalo Wings, and Molson Canadian to wash everything down. This was the first time I’ve had a Molson Canadian and it was not bad at all. We were too full to finish the pizza so we took the leftover back to the hotel with us. Since we had a kitchenette with a refrigerator and a microwave, we figured we would snack on it tomorrow or something.