LUNA CAFE (181 Dovercourt at Argyle, 416-588-3374) Complete meals for $15 per person including all taxes, tip and a cup of coffee. Average main $9. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 3 pm, weekends 10 am to 3 pm. Unlicensed. Access: three steps at door, very small washroom on same floor. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Luna, now a decade old, serves organic produce and free-range meats in a relaxed attractive room decorated with random rustic vintage on a beautiful corner of Dovercourt. How can the hipster Dundas locals resist?
It gets the most out of its countertop kitchen, executing some basics, like a properly poached egg, that many fully equipped restaurant kitchens seem unable to reliably deliver.
But the place is sometimes a little stronger on conception than consistency, as exemplified by the poached eggs with peameal bacon ($10.50). The eggs are perfect, the chipotle hollandaise light and flavourful, the bacon nicely grilled and the salad well-dressed and voluminous. But the homefries are paltry and lukewarm, one bacon slice is almost pork-chop thick, and the English muffin comes cold and underdone.
At 10:30 am, the smoked salmon and scrambled egg wrap with red onion, capers and goat cheese ($10.50) is well put together and has a pleasing homemade quality, but accompanied only by the quality house greens, it's kind of minimalist. There's no denying the integrity of the dish, but at this early eggy hour, some will feel the absence of things like toast and homefries.
Staying on the flavoursome, wholesome theme of one-thing-and-a-salad, the special of sautéed oyster mushrooms on baguette with goat cheese, tomatoes and olive tapenade ($9.50) has fresh flavours and quality ingredients, which the price reflects.
The coffee (large $1.75) and fresh-squeezed juices (large $3.95) are excellent, poured by partially distracted servers who manage, most of the time, to keep things moving along.