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Josh M's Profile

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Moksa - Tender, Spicy, Meaty

Agree with MK and MC, I've been there twice and was surprised by the Globe review. I enjoyed both times. Some dishes I thought were really great; others were just solid. Agree on cocktails as well. Not a transcendent destination, but definitely a very good restaurant that I'm glad is out there.

May 17, 2012
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Menton, Clio, or Craigie? Tasting menu blow-out for family. Recent expeiences?

Have dined at (and greatly enjoyed) all three. In my mind, if money's no object and you're looking for something formal, Menton is by far the best restaurant in Boston.

Mar 30, 2012
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Sichuan Gourmet: Lucky Brookline

I had the same lack of spiciness experience one time I went there (when I got takeout and specified "make it very very spicy," I was fine). When I was there I got the dan dan noodles and the ma po tofu and neither was spicy. Some of my friends got more traditional Chinese things, so I think that might prejudice the restaurant into giving you something less spicy (or maybe they're just uneven). I think the thing to do is just say "Last time I was here, it wasn't spicy enough" or "I've heard that sometimes it's not spicy enough."

In general, I really like Sichuan Gourmet (though it's not nearly as good as the amazing Flushing, NY Szechuan Gourmet (no relation)). I definitely recommend getting spicier and more traditonal items. The Ging Gu fish fillet was excellent (and ferociously spicy). The old-style chicken and Dan Dan noodles were also very good. The ma po tofu was a bit of a disappointment though.

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Sichuan Gourmet
502 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

Sichuan Gourmet
1004 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

Jun 24, 2010
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Looking for evening dining near the ICA on a Thursday

It might be too expensive, but Sportello is very good.

Feb 23, 2010
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

O Ya versus Uni

I really like both, but, if you can afford it, O Ya is clearly better. I think it's the best restaurant in Boston right now.

Jan 22, 2010
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Good eats in the Financial District?

I just started a job for the summer on the waterfrontish side of the Financial District (hope I'm getting my Boston geography right; I'm working at 1 International Place, which is right off've Oliver St.) What's good to eat around here?

May 27, 2009
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Green Street Grill: closing?

Exactly. I just assumed it was a one night thing, but definitely smelled like a litter box and definitely near the stairs. If you have the bad luck to get one of the tables right near there it kind of distracts from the food (which I generally find quite good)

May 13, 2009
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Good (and bad) Restaurant Week experiences

I always have mixed feelings about Restaurant Week (coming up in mid to late March), because I've found the quality across restaurants to be pretty uneven. Some restaurants do a great job and view RW as a showcase to attract repeat customers for the future. Many others serve an inferior product at a more rapid pace. I'm going to make some Restaurant Week reservations, and there're some restaurants that I've wanted to try (or go back to) that are participating, so I was curious where people have had particularly good or bad Restaurant Week experiences that they would want to share

Feb 24, 2009
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

My boss is paying (and he has $)

I was really impressed with O Ya when I went (i think it has the best food in Boston right now), but I don't know if it'd be the best for a business meeting (it doesn't have the same formal feel as the other high price restaurants mentioned like No. 9 Park and Clio)

Feb 12, 2009
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Restaurant Club Seeks Suggestions

Does 50 include wine?

Cool experiences for 50/person that spring to mind for me

Toro in the South End (Spanish Tapas, my favorite restaurant that's not super-expensive)

Myers+Chang (Chinese/pan-Asian, I think I might like this restaurant better than most people, but I've really enjoyed it when i went)

Grotto (Italian, went there last night with my fiancee and some foodie friends, we all really enjoyed it)

Oga Sushi (in Natick, my favorite non-O Ya sushi in the Boston area. Doing the lowest price omakase (specify a price at the outset, otherwise they just keep bringing food) would run a bit more than 50/person but I'd say it's worth it. Their regular sushi and appetizers are also quite good.

Bar at Craigie St. on Main - (French/Local/Earthy-Crunchy, the main dining room is very expensive, but I had a very good meal at the bar there that 'd recommend)

Taranta in the North End (Italian with some Peruvian (I think?) flavors, I'm not a big North End fan, but I think Taranta combines good solid Italian food with some inventive flavors)

Rocca in the South End (Italian, might push your price range a bit).

In terms of places you mention, I liked but didn't love Hungry mother and Oleana when i've been there (on the other hand I think Sofra, the new bakery in Belmont by the woman who owns Oleana, is fantastic). I was lucky enough to get the Omakase at O Ya for a birthday present (really several birthday presents, in fact), and it was unbelievably good, and it'd be my pick for the best restaurant in Boston right now. That said, anything you get there definitely will be really expensive, so it's probably more a once-a-year (or lifetime) place

Jan 31, 2009
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Foodie visitor from NYC, where to go?

Rendezvous was the first one I thought of as well. I don't know if Oleana would necessarily appeal to a non-foodie. Green Street might be a bit simple for your friend (though I like it, I don't think of it as an experience restaurant). One option might be Dante, which (I think) now has a very affordable prix fixe menu that basically covers the whole menu (check on their website before you go because it might have been only for a limited time. I went to Grotto last night, which i thought was also very enjoyable

Jan 31, 2009
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Erbaluce - Go or no Go

I just went last night and was disappointed after seeing people's positive reviews. The wine prices are annoying, particularly since the two bottles of red for under 40 dollars were both unavailable when I went (if memory serves, the next lowest price was $55), but the wines by the glass were fine, and they offered to pour a sample of two different options which was generous. Another odd beverage note was they only serve homemade soda (i.e. no Coke, Sprite, etc.) which I'd never seen before.

Since the wine I ended up having (a generous pour of a Dolcetto and then a Brachetto with dessert) was actually fairly good and reasonably priced, I didn't mind that aspect, but I also didn't love a lot of the food. As people have mentioned, the bread and (especially) the dip that goes with it was addictive, and I thought the pansotti and gnocchi with pork ragu were both excellent (the gnocchi in particular were the exact soft, light consistency that I prefer). The bread pudding budino that my DC got was decent but uninteresting, but my dessert (the chocolate and orange tart) was pretty boring - a chocolate cup filled with chocolate ganache sitting on top of some oranges on the plate. The speck appetizer was unexceptional, but the boar entree (supposedly one of the restaurant's signatures) was just a few thick pork chops, somewhat overcooked, set over a grape and lavender sauce that wasn't anywhere near as interesting as it sounds (it just added a bit of acid to an otherwise plain chop). Given people's positive reviews, I was very excited to go here, but Erbaluce didn't live up to that for me. I'd recommend if you do go here to focus on the pastas and only get dessert if they have something that really appeals to you.

Dec 21, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Birthday Dinner: Oishii Boston Or...?

I've never been to Oishii Boston, but I second the recommendation for Clio as a nice celebratory meal at a similar price point to Salts and Craigie Street. If you want sushi, I can't recommend O Ya highly enough. I went for my birthday and thought it was fantastic.

Nov 02, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Babbo Walk-in question

So I remember, a couple of years ago when i lived in New York, reading that Babbo would reserve a few tables for walk-ins who came in very early in the evening (like around 5/530) is this still the case (assuming that it ever was)? if so, has anyone had personal experience with it? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Oct 22, 2008
Josh M in Manhattan

Where else can I get Pinkberry knockoffs?

I've never been to Pinkberry but Berryline is great (near Harvard Square)

Oct 16, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Clio Recommendations

Going to Clio tonight - any recommendations as to what people like/don't like?

Oct 16, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Omakase that won't break your bank?

I've had the omakase at Oga, and it was excellent but you should specify a price limit before, because it does get expensive.

Sep 14, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Recommendations for Affordable dinner options in Cambridge

After going to school in Cambridge for a year, i've finally made the move and am living between Porter and Harvard Square. Because I didn't used to live here before, I know the bars in the area and some of the nicer options (Rendezvous, Oleana, Craigie Street Bistrot), but I'm trying to find some restaurants that have tasty food I can eat on a regular basis without breaking the bank. So far, I've personally come to like Cambridge One, Emma's, Christopher's, All Star Sandwich Bar, and Wagamama, but I'm sure there's other good (better?) Chowish options.

Sep 13, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Any reports on Stone Hearth Pizza, Cambridge?

I went once to the Stone Hearth in Needham and was underwhelmed; I definitely agree with the Emma's rec, but if you want something that's good closer to the Cambridge Stone Hearth, try Cambridge One, which has good thin crust pizza.

Sep 13, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

What's In-between L'esplaier and Clio?

I'd second No 9 Park as being between the two restaurants in terms of classicism vs. innovation while still being at a similar price point,

Sep 12, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

fancy birthday dinner in september

I recently had the omakase at O Ya and thought it was amazing. I used to really love No 9 Park for special occasions, but while I still enjoy it whenever I go, lately I've found it to be good to very good rather than great. O Ya is great.

Aug 01, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

East Cambridge restaurants?

Is Emma's Pizza (basically the corner of Hampshire and broadway) east Cambridge? If it is, I'd definitely recommend it.

Jul 31, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Myers+Chang

My friend and I really enjoyed the restaurant. I particularly liked the Dan dan noodles, Tiger's Tears (very spicy but in not in a food-overpowering way), and pork spareribs (sweet and really tasty). The lemony shrimp dumplings were good (tasting exactly like what the name implies) as was the papaya slaw. I didn't really love the coconut corn bisque, which i thought might have been a bit bland (then again I might just not be a big bisque person)

Jul 26, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Myers+Chang

I'm going to Myers+Chang tonight - any recommendation as to what to order? Thanks.

Jul 24, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Excellent Meal at Rendezvous

I also just went (for my fiancee's birthday dinner), though while the meal was good, I didn't love it as much as I usually do with Rendezvous (which might be my favorite restaurant right now). That said, what I did love is that apparently for July, the whole menu is a $38 prix fixe, which is a great deal.

I had the charcuterie (which was superb, chicken liver mousse, duck rillettes, smoked pork shoulder (I think) and one I can't remember, all with excellent accompaniments), and the Florida hopper shrimp, which I thought was good but not great. For desert, I had the poundcake with strawberry/rhubarb compote and rosemary ice cream. The desert was very good, and the rosemary ice cream was awesome. I also had a glass of the Coltibuono Rose they offer, which was superb. My fiancee had the gnocchi with mushrooms, which we thought was a bit bland. The toasted orecchiete entree was good but not exceptional. She had three ice creams (the rosemary, strawberry sorbet, and one other one I can't remember); those were also very good.

Jul 16, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Best fun restaurant for $50

Toro would work well except that it doesn't take reservations (and it's not really traditional three courses, since it's tapas). Otherwise, i'd say Ten Tables if you can get reservations might be a few dollars per person over the price range, but it seems like the closest to your vision. I haven't been there but I think East Coast Grill might also fit your specifications.

May 30, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

Visiting New Orleans, recs?

I'm visiting New Orleans for a few days next week, and I was wondering where I should eat. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

May 15, 2008
Josh M in New Orleans

Around Harvard Square with a Toddler

I like Cambridge One. If you're looking for takeout - I also think Oggi Pizza is very good.

Apr 05, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

51 Lincoln in Newton?

I've gone there a couple of times and like it a lot. In particular, the watermelon steak appetizer is very good, and the snacks with liquor pairings are also cool and different. That said, the desert isn't very good in my experience.

Jan 08, 2008
Josh M in Greater Boston Area

What are your TOP faves in Cambridge?

I've just started school in Cambridge this year (though I'd gone to some restaurants there previously). In ascending order of price

Felipe's - good burrito place if you're in Harvard Square - the quesadillas are excellent with carnitas or grilled veggies
Oggi - (in the Holyoke center in Harvard Square) - the special of the day is always great
Emma's Pizza (in kendall) - Excellent pizza in a relaxed atmosphere
Rendezvous (Central Square)
Craigie Street Bistrot (particularly the Chef's Whim is a great value if you're not picky

Also, though it's not a restaurant recommendation, I recommend checking out Formaggio Kitchen to get some cheese and other stuff.

Dec 17, 2007
Josh M in Greater Boston Area