Live for Brunch

January 30th, 2011 · Lisa · restaurant review, Review · Comments

Livehas long been my favourite place for Brunch in Toronto. When I heard they were closing for renovations over the holidays I was worried – until I learned that the reveal would include a renovated interior and a new Brunch menu! While they were closed, I imagined all of the incredible dishes that might be finding their way onto the new roster. Now that they reopened, I had to go investigate. I brought along a team of the most testy tasters.

Dan and Ali started with the Butterscotch Ripple. They had no complaints. It was sweet, rich and creamy.

I spent several arduous moments struggling to select one option from the incredible array of raw offerings on Live’s new menu, I had to be pushed. Try something new!
So, I picked the Raw Vegan French Toast,an item I’ve never seen on a menu or in a cookbook anywhere before.

The server warned me about its decadence – two large slices of sweet, crisp raw bread, slathered with nut butter, topped with beautiful berries and cherries, spiced nuts and a drizzle of agave and cream. The “toast” is a bit more crisp than typical french toast but the flavours are just as fantastic.

The new Brunch menu has both raw and cooked options. Vegan French Toast appears on both. My mom LOVES french toast. Last time we had brunch at Liveshe said “that is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth”. She tried to force herself to pick something else, branch out a little. But in the end the toast had to be hers.

Her report: perfection. Live’s French Toast is my Mom’s most favourite brunch experience, ever.

From the raw menu, Ali ordered Cacao Crepes. A roll of sweet, pliable cocao crepe, filled with lusicous cream. She was very happy, and she wasn’t sharing.

Dan, ordered the Raw Huevos – an amazing combination of guacamole, walnut taco meat, and corn on a soft corn tortilla. I had a bite and was impressed by the soft thin tortillia, the rich guacamole and the balanced hint of spice. This is a dish I would love to recreate at home.

Even though we were totally full and happy, these sweet treats showed up at our table. When you’re at Live you have to visit the dessert fridge. We tried the French Macaron, Almond Dream Bar and something delicious that I can’t remember the name of. If you have any friends who think raw, vegan food is boring or bland, I encourage you to share a sweet with them at Live. The Tiramisuhas been changing minds for years…

But these days, there is a now star in town – Raw, Vegan “Jos Louis”. Every time someone at our table took a bite they needed a minute to reflect on the experience before speaking about it. I don’t think it was quiet “spiritual” but they did get a look of “blissful surrender” in their eyes. I have a feeling that I’ll be seeing a lot of this guy at future family gatherings. I’ve also heard he’ll be showing up in GTA grocery stores soon.

Anyone feel like coming to Toronto for a visit? We have raw, vegan Jos Louis!

P.S. I’m now in Oklahoma – ready for my first day in raw chef school tomorrow.


  1. Posted January 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Man, that raw french toast looks awesome. I think it's cool that members of your family are open to trying raw options even when cooked options are available….
    Chef school in Oklahoma!?! That can only mean one place. How did I miss that you were going? I'm sure you'll love it, but to me you are already a great chef. You should be an instructor there, or open your own school :).

  2. Posted January 30, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    That all looks delectable. And pardon my obtuseness, but what is a 'Joe Louis?'

    It's great that it's a place where non-rawish folks can come with and enjoy too.


  3. Posted January 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I can't believe how amazing that all looks! So impressed. I want to try and find something like that in my city!

  4. Posted January 31, 2011 at 6:21 am

    Mindy! You are so kind. Thank you. I would like to teach some classes when I'm done – but probably in Toronto or any tropical destinations that care to invite me 🙂

    Ela- Jos Louis are a snack cake that are often packed in kids lunches. They have a cream centre, a chocolate cake layer and then a thin chocolate coating.

    Ceri – or plan a visit!

  5. Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Wow, I must go back to Live immediately! I haven't been since the end of November for my birthday. That raw vegan french toast looks AMAZING! I had the Almond Dream bar when I was there – so rich and creamy :)Hope all went well with your travels, and that you are settling in for your new adventure!

  6. Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I'm going to try out Live, your brunch looks amazing!

    Have a wonderful time at chef school! Can't wait to read all about it 🙂

  7. Posted January 31, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Wowza! What a fab meal! I'm drooling!

  8. Posted January 31, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Oh my! I'm drooling over EVERYTHING! Looks so incredible. Wow. I want to go there.

  9. Posted January 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    This place looks great. I know I won't starve in Toronto.

    Enjoy 105!

  10. Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I would take everything on this post, it all looked so good!!! Now I know where to go when I am Toronto 🙂 Thanks! Good luck with school!

    Pure2raw Twins

  11. Posted January 31, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    ALL of this looks UN.BE.LIEVABLE! June cannot come fast enough, seriously…

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