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Sutra Lounge , Toronto, Canada (bar)

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Name:Sutra Lounge
Street:612 College Street
Phone:(416) 537-8755

The reviews make me want to stay away from this place (I've heard about it for years), but I have been offered a gift certificate so it's finally time for me to bite the bullet and check it out. Here's what others have said (you'll soon see my reason for steering clear):

"A trendy tiki bar (612 College St.) is located in the heart of little Italy. 'Tucked at the back of this streamlined lounge is a patio ankle-deep in sand.' Sutra, a project from Sid Dichter (Souz Dal), touts itself as a "Champagne and oyster bar," and the interior could not be more aptly described....This Polynesian oasis has all the essential ingredients to be a camp classic for years to come!"

"I love the Tiki Lounge in the back. This place is classy and any place that serves pina colada's in coconut cups is thumbs up in my book. Go Tiki!"


Here's an even scarier review!

"Sitting at a bustling bar, she brings the Jealous Tiki God (she won't drink Cosmos anymore because they're "sooo five minutes ago") to her perfect lips (carefully tinted with nude matte lipstick) as she passes unerring judgment on the mural on the wall before her (a multi-hued sunset scene).

"Tiki," utter the nude lips, glistening with Jealous Tiki God juice. "It's all about Tiki Lounge here. And it's very cool."

We're sitting at the back patio at Sutra, College Street's sweet, little darling. And Nude Lips is right; it really is Tiki back here. The whole patio is pure Polynesian - decorated like a Hawaiian-beach-scene-meets-Tom-Ford. Think bamboo pillars, wide rattan parasols, Maui martinis - sorry, martikis - and sand.

Yes, sand. Tucked at the back of this streamlined lounge is a patio ankle-deep in sand. On weeknights you can snag a table among the junior-level media-types, who come here for glasses of Veuve Clicquot. Come Friday, though, the place teems with Marc Jacobs perfume and Roberto Cavalli sling-backs. It's also a date bar. Take someone you want to impress, but don't flinch when the bill comes.

Sutra, a project from Sid Dichter (Souz Dal), touts itself as a "Champagne and oyster bar," and the interior could not be more aptly described. For starters, this cozy, one-level lounge is a stylishly decorated mixture of minimalist chic and retro wood grains. Banquettes are adorned with hanging curtains of beads (a la Rhoda's apartment). The bar is roughly half the length of the floor. Along one wall are six booths which allow for viewing the bar activity and comfortably seat four or more if you don't mind a little less room.

But “Champagne and oyster bar” comes to an end at the patio. Tiki Lounge - what they're calling the patio - is a more sophisticated, subtler version of its earlier generation lava lounge cousins. This Polynesian oasis has all the essential ingredients to be a camp classic for years to come: bamboo walls, loofah cocktail tables, and an ongoing parade of Tiki cocktails: Fog Cutter (Rum, Brandy Gin); Wicky Wacky Woo (Coconut rum, melon liquor, pineapple juice) and the Hula Hula (vodka, pineapple, coconut and mango juices). These high-octane Slurpees will fool you with their tropical, fruity charm, but be warned; these babies pack a powerful punch.

There are glittery stools, tasty cocktails (averaging around $7.50), and such a glamorous, decadent air that you can't help feeling like people are seeing someone pretty damn fabulous when they look at you, and of course they are, baby. They really are.

Upshot: Don't be surprised if, after a couple of Mojitos, you find yourself talking to Nude Lips at the bar about how those dudes got to Easter Island - that's the idea."


Oh, dear. High-octane slurpees? And what, exactly, is it about this place that makes it so perfectly Polynesian? A little bamboo? Boy, if that's all it takes to transport those folks to paradise, more power to them, I suppose. It's a shame people's standards for theming have fallen so low, though.

Here's to you, Tikifish, for taking one for the team in the name of exploration! I'm eager to hear your report. Don't forget to wear your best Prada heels. [sarcasm]It'll look so cute when you take them off to walk barefoot in the sand.[/sarcasm]

Critiki - Hundreds of tiki bars, Polynesian restaurants, and other sites of interest to the tiki traveller, collector or urban archaeologist

[ Edited by: Humuhumu on 2004-07-23 16:10 ]

I must also remember to come with nude lips!

I will definitely bring the camera - any requests for themed photos? Like me wearing nude lipstick? Giving a finger to the Cavalli-clad patrons? Throwing my ciggie butts in the manicured sand?


On 2004-07-24 23:10, tikifish wrote:
Throwing my ciggie butts in the manicured sand?

Better yet, leave some cat Turds.

Think I'll stick to the Horseshoe and Bovine next time I'm in town

I checked this place out last week, and it was pretty pathetic. They had a ceramic moai birdbath on the bar, and one of those tiki lava lamps from spencers. Behind the bar were several dynasty mugs, and a set of 4 common vintage mugs.(found by the owner at a garage sale) Stacks of half coconuts infest one shelf.

Apparently they used to serve drinks in tiki mugs, but people kept stealing them, so now they use only the coconuts.

Their most popular drink is the mojito, which I did try at their sister bar(Souz Dal)It was quite tasty, since they made it with fresh lime & mint. They're 3/4 to a mai tai, but finding the other ingredients would be wayy too challenging for them.

The Sutra Tiki Lounge mai tai sounded horrendous so I didn't bother. One small wall is covered in bamboo, one small part of the ceiling covered in woven matting. Past the bar there are about 4 booths that have little thatch covered roofs. It's the perfect shape for a tiki bar, long and narrow. With a crapload of atmosphere and some decent drinks it would be a nice little spot.

Out on the patio my friends were turned away by a small group of people claiming that they had reserved it. After talking to the owner at his other bar it seems that they were fibbing, and just didn't want to share.

I walked away with a tattered menu(which features a florida style tiki)& a matchbook that I'll scan and post later. The poor bartender told me to 'tell all my friends!' which didn't surprise me, the place was all but empty at about midnight on a Thursday.

College street is a very busy area full of a million little clubs, bars and pubs all open late to cater to young 'uns. The popular spots were PACKED, spilling onto the patios and sidewalk.

Souz Dal was a nice place to relax and have a few drinks, out on the patio one wall features a large multi-candle shrine.

Mopie posted on Sun, Oct 29, 2006 1:38 PM

Holy cow yes this place is terrible.

Same deal, I've know of it for a awhile now and decided one friday about 3 weesk ago that maybe I should just go and find out for myself.

Walked in at about 8:30 on Friday eve, some latino Ska was playing (I didnt mind so much as I was a ska dj back in the day)
Thought ok, the decor isn't the worst I've seen, but it felt very forced, almost an after thought.
We talked with the bartender a bit (not the brightest bulb in box I may say) she made us some drinks with about 500x the grenadine required.
about 1/2 way through the drinks, the music got turned up to 11 and this horrific gansta rap came on. Now I'm not claming Im not like my father, but 1) does it need to be so loud 2) I think it was Outkast 3) I mean honsetly, gansta rap?

So we finished up and went to pay our tab, bartender asked us how we were enjoying our selves. I said well honetly music sux ass terribly. She said oh, I didnt think that ethnic stuff was very exciting so I upped the tempo.
I smiled and nodded, then I had to ask.
So you guys do a lounge, exotica kinda night?
She looked at me as if I just spit in her drink. "Lounge? you mean like vegas stuff?"
I said not really but sorta kinda, but told her that she was missing the whole tiki idea and it was sad.
She said they were packed nightly so maybe I wanst getting it and walked away.

ohh Toronto you are ready for a proper tiki bar!
one day... one day!


Go to the 'Bovine Sex Club' instead, it's not a tiki bar but it's got the coolest name!

On 2006-11-03 03:55, cheekytiki wrote:
Go to the 'Bovine Sex Club' instead, it's not a tiki bar but it's got the coolest name!

Go to the Cadillac Lounge on Queen West, friendly people, friendly staff. They have a mix of rockabilly, surf, garage, punk, bluegrass on any given night.


I agree with the above posts. I went to that Sutra bar and I wasn't impressed with the music or atmosphere.

Zeta posted on Wed, Feb 4, 2009 1:44 PM

ARR!!! Minimal-hindu-buddha-chillout-bamboo... The antithesis of Tiki... Why god? Why? Forgive them because they don't know what they are doing. Anyway, where are those pictures? Menu? matchbook?

Pages: 1 11 replies