Laika – More than just a bar
Over time I get emails telling me of people’s favourite places and I make it a point to eventually check them out. Laika was one of those places. I had heard some good stuff from a few people and what I had read online was rather positive as well but for the life of me I could not figure out where this places was, and I have been up and down almost every inch of St Laurent for years without having seen it. It wasn’t until I was reviewing another place in the area that I actually looked across the street and had an “Ah Ha” moment. Now that I knew what it looked like I was even more curious to check it out.
At 1st glance
When you walk by Laika you first ask yourself what is this weird façade even before you see any sign of it being a place to eat or drink. In the summer there is a terrace outside and they open up the street windows, which makes for a nice view especially for people watching. Laika is also a bar at night so sometimes I have been told they play music during brunch and in some instances they play it loudly, although we did not have that problem when we went. You must first enter the lobby of the building before you can enter the entrance of Laika which is on your right hand side. The inside is quite nice and spacious with enough space to accommodate plenty of people. You will also find on your way into the inside a chalkboard with daily specials which is a nice touch to change things up from the normal menu.
The menu is a simple one-sided sheet with most of the basics covered with a price of under $12.00. They have 4 types of omelettes ($9.75-$10.50); 10 various fancy eggs dishes ($9.00-$12.00); 4 types of crepes and French toast ($9.00-$11.00). There’s also a sweet side with crepe plates, yogourt and some other side dishes priced between ($2.00-$8.50) The menu is not enormous but it gets the job done by covering most food items except eggs Benedict and waffles. There are also no free coffee refills. They also have 2-3 chalkboard specials, which tend to change every week.
We ordered the chorizo omelette ($10.00) which comprised of chorizo, peppers, zucchini, onions and aged cheddar. My friend asked to sub the chorizo with tomatoes on the side. The omelette was not enormous but it was tasty and properly cooked from the edges down to the tasty center. I had the French toast ($9.00), which came served with baguette bread, English cream, caramel, caramelized pears and flambéed strawberries. The baguette bread French toast is a great idea and it still has that French toast taste with the extra crunchiness you would expect from baguette bread. I was not a huge fan of English cream and felt it was not necessary, although the strawberries were a really nice touch. With the French toast I ordered a special drink called “the Popeye” (3.50) which consists of orange juice and spinach and although it seems like an odd pairing the spinach makes it look green and cuts the acidity of the orange juice. And for the price it’s a great deal with an awesome taste.
Now, normally I’m really easy going and when it comes to the service section. In fact, I’m usually quite happy unless you really do something disastrous. I mean our waitress was helpful with the menu and did manage to get my friends order of toast with no butter correct when every other place in the city screws that one up (although in their defense it’s a rare request). But something seemed a little off with our waitress and I could not put my finger on it (and trust me I have a sixth sense when it comes to spotting a crazy.) She was going from good mood to bad in under 2 minutes and back again and near the end I almost felt like she was hitting on me while giving me attitude a minute earlier. Now this should not affect my view of the service but normal is the bare minimum and she actually forgot my plate. I had to wait much longer after my friends plate came because somehow it was forgotten. The only way to describe the service is bi-polar or like my stock portfolio: one wild ride where you have no clue what can happen next.
This menu is actually predominantly vegetarian and in fact only a few dishes come served with meat. (I am considering fish as meat in this review just so I can bolster the “non vegetarian options.”) It’s nice to see a varied menu with options for vegetarians, as for vegan even this menu can’t help you unless you go for the fruit option.
The décor is funky, the service definitely unique, and the menu is quite varied. The no coffee refills is a bit of a bother and the menu seemed a dollar or two pricier than it should be considering the portion sizes were not enormous. I can see how people do like it and I am happy to have had the chance to check it out.
| 4040 boulevard St-Laurent
Montréal Qc H2W 1Y8
Sat-Sun 9:00 a.m.- 15:00 p.m.
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|Bottomless Cup Of Coffee