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Japanese/Chinese/Seafood near Andover?

Thanks everyone. I was afraid you were going to say that!

Jun 27, 2011
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Japanese/Chinese/Seafood near Andover?

My cousin and her family are visiting from Thailand, and would like to eat either Japanese or Chinese (preferably Cantonese) while here. Alternatively, a really good seafood restaurant. Anyone have any recommendations?

Given that they live in Bangkok, I'm concerned they'll have a tough time finding something comparable to what they're used to, but whatever you can suggest would be most helpful! If there isn't anything of great quality in the area, then let me know what you think is best in the area regardless of cuisine.

I live near Fenway, so I'm afraid I don't know any of the restaurants up there. Thanks!

Jun 27, 2011
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Fantastic meal at Journeyman in Somerville

I went during their super yummy special rabbit dinner and ended up so stuffed I could hardly move. The rabbit liver and kidney pate might have been my favorite, but even the "rabbit food" salad course was fantastic. I love this place.

Feb 01, 2011
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Awful experience at Mamma Maria

To be honest - at that point, we just wanted to get the heck out of there.

Apr 28, 2009
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Awful experience at Mamma Maria

This weekend, my husband and I took friends from out of town to Mamma Maria, and I'm sorry to say that we greatly regret the decision. Despite having had a good experience there once before, this experience was so bad that it is highly unlikely we'll ever return.

We made reservations and arrived about 10 minutes early. They weren't super busy, so were able to seat us right away. The beginning started well, we ordered an antipasto plate for the table, as well as our entrees and a bottle of wine. The antipasto plate came out in a reasonable timeframe, as did the wine, and we very leisurely ate the appetizer. That's when things started to go wrong.

We probably took about 20-25 minutes to finish the appetizer. We then waited for at least 30-40 minutes more for our entree. It was long enough that we completely finished the bottle of wine (only three were drinking) and were still waiting for our entrees. Our waiter never came by to acknowledge the wait until we flagged him down to ask. He said he would check on it.

About five minutes later, three of the four entrees were served, but the remaining entree did not come out for at least another 10 minutes. The three entrees that did come out had clearly been sitting for some time, tasted lukewarm and was congealed. When the final entree (a steak with foie gras on top) finally did come out, the steak itself was piping hot, but the foie gras was cold. The waiter also never came back to check on how the entrees were or whether we were enjoying our meal.

Clearly, something had happened to the original steak, and it had to be refired. Rather than refiring all four dishes, three entrees were left waiting for half an hour and served at a subpar temperature. They also clearly didn't want to waste the foie gras, so just slapped the old one on the new steak.

At the end of the meal, we flagged down the waiter for the check and proceeded to wait another 15 minutes before he actually came back to our table (he was in and out serving other tables in the meantime, however). While he tried to appease the situation after 15 minutes had gone by by presenting a dessert plate on the house, it was frankly too late. In addition, he didn't tell us WHY we were waiting so long for the check, so he succeeded only in making us angrier and angrier for the continued wait. Then we still had to wait another 10 minutes for him to actually appear with the check.

Overall - bad experience from both a service and a kitchen point of view. Highly disappointing.

Apr 28, 2009
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Eastern Standard

I have to say - I've been to Eastern Standard a couple of times recently, and I haven't been nearly as impressed as everyone else on this board has been. For instance, went again last night: I had the Cavetelli, my sister had the cod, we both started with the foie gras. The foie gras was served as a whipped mousse that seemed to have lost all the flavor of foie gras and was served with salt and pepper crostini that completely overwhelmed the mild taste. Both entrees were surprisingly (and unnecessarily) salty, and I was left thinking (again) that I shouldn't bother coming back. I find it adequate but uninteresting. This is perhaps the third or fourth time I've come in the past two years.

Aug 28, 2008
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Korean BBQ?

New Jang Su is the only place that I've ever found in the greater Boston area that's fit to call itself Korean BBQ. If you decide to go, just know that it's set back in a huge parking lot in a random ass shopping plaza just past either a Lumber Liquidators or Building 19 (or both, can't remember). The name on the outside doesn't say New Jang Su - it just says "Korean BBQ" with some Korean characters on it.

The one thing to say though, at least every time I've been there, the wait staff has sort of insisted on doing the grilling for me.Not a huge deal, but something to know.

If you find another place that's good, I'm all ears!

Aug 28, 2008
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Hungry Mother of Cambridge open!

Went to Hungry Mother with a friend this evening - the food was fantastic! Everyone was super friendly - it was clear that they're still in that sort of really anxious, hope everyone likes us and we make it through kind of phase. I hope they're as attentive and friendly six months from now - this place is clearly going to succeed. We both had cocktails, which were unusual but both really good. one was a combination of sparkling wine, homemade grenadine and somethign else - a nice, light summery drink, the other was a combination of sweet tea and bourbon which could quickly and easily become dangerous.

We started with boiled peanuts which had yummy gray sea salt on them. I had the gnocchi, which was surprisingly and very pleasantly light. Unlike many very heavy gnocchi, this dish was almost refreshing in its lightness - you didn't feel overwhelmed or too full afterward, and you felt like you could enjoy each bite. The mushrooms included with the dish were tasty and generous, and there was a nice mix of greens to round out the plate.

My friend had the pork shoulder, which came with grits, and was very pleased with it - I had a bite and found it tender and flavorful. We both finished our dishes completely.

We finished with the pot de creme which was very rich - a bit too rich after that meal, but quite yummy.

As for the intangibles - the staff was friendly and attentive without being obtrusive; the decor is warm and inviting, volume level comfortable - not too quiet, but you're able to comfortably carry on a conversation.

I really enjoyed this place and envision coming back regularly.

May 06, 2008
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

High-end Philly Birthday Dinner

Thanks to everyone who responded. On the Friday night, we went to Morimoto. We had a phenomenal waitress who managed to get us three different Omikase menus even though they're only supposed to do two per table - it was a gastronomic event. we had a couple of their specialty drinks - would especially recommend that togarashi martini which had a nice little kick to it that wasn't overwhelming.

The seafood was fresh and phenomenally well-prepared. The only main complaint I have is that there was almost too much - we were doing well with all the lighter fare - seafood primarily - throughout the first several courses, and thought, "well, there's only two courses left, we should be okay" - we just didn't realize that the two remaining courses (before dessert) were heavier, meat-based dishes - we practically rolled out. Among the standouts were an excellent toro tartare, the black cod miso and the kobe beef with black truffles.

For the birthday dinner, we had a party of 10, so rented the private room at La Croix. This was a trully fantastic meal. We started wtih a choice between the butter lettuce salad (Cashews, Blue Cheese, Honey Black Sesame Vinaigrette), which was surprisingly good - the flavors worked very well together, and was a nice introduction to the meal, and a Banana (Mastic, Truffle, Majorero Cheese, Shortbread) which was somewhat disappointing. The banana was barely grilled, and the flavors seemed disconnected.

The second course was between seared scallops and braised escargot (Parsley Root, Red Curry, Lamb Bacon). The braised escargot was quite good though Im not a huge escargot fan. The seared scallops were excellent - really good though not unusually so.

The main course was a choice between a black cod char sui and the muscovy duck breast cassoulet. Both of these dishes were incredible. the black cod was really interesting - a mixture of flavors I wasn't expecting but that went together surprisingly well, while the duck breast was a well-executed traditional dish.

We also had a sumptuous foie gras course in between, which was generous and well prepared (not overdone as it often is). We also had side dishes of Sweet Potatoes, Smoked Honey, Miso and Maitake Mushrooms, Horseradish. These were both good but not really anything special.

the dessert choices were a Chocolate-Cherry Clafouti (Muscovado-Brandy Ice Cream, Walnut Glass, Cocoa Crystals) that was rich but not too rich - velvety. The really interesting dish was a frozen coconut cream (Yuzu Gelée, Berry Mélange, Candied Pistachio) which was different than anything I had ever had and a nice, light end to what had been a very rich meal.

The sommelier is excellent and knows his craft well, but the mark up on the wine is outrageous. Overall, both restaurants were absolutely fantastic, well worth the money and I would highly recommend going to either again.

May 04, 2008
lorita113 in Pennsylvania

High-end Philly Birthday Dinner

Thanks everyone - I'll check these out and let you know what we decide!

Mar 21, 2008
lorita113 in Pennsylvania

Burton's on Boylston

Have gone to Burton's on Boylston a couple of times now in the past two months and have been hugely impressed with both the food quality and the waitstaff. The eggs benedict on their brunch menu was simply divine with a nice, unexpected citrusy burst on the hollandaise sauce. For dinner, we've had the a superb seared scallop appetizer - I would highly recommend it. The scallops were cooked perfectly medium rare and are served on top of a delicious corn concoction. For the most part, the steaks we've had there are done well - tender, perfectly cooked with good flavor, though this last time the "medium rare" was distinctly rare in the very center of the filet. Have also tried the Chilean sea bass on the menu which was nice and light, though the corn risotto was a bit odd. The wait staff on all three occasions were attentive without obnoxious, pleasant, professional and a courteous. The prices are significantly lower than comparable food at other Boston restaurants. While not a top-tier restaurant, over all, we've found this to be great value for the money and a great place to go for a nice non-special-occasion meal out.

Mar 19, 2008
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

High-end Philly Birthday Dinner

Hi all - I'm from Boston but will be coming to Philly to help my sister celebrate her birthday. Could you suggest a couple of places that would be good for a special occasion? Looking for good quality food, fun (not old-school and sedate), with a good wine list. Cost is less of a concern. What does Philadelphia have to offer? What are the hot places to go? The restaurant that you would choose to go to if you could only pick one?

Looking forward to your responses, and thanks!

Mar 19, 2008
lorita113 in Pennsylvania

Everyday Allston Village Lunch Recs?

I guess I was thinking of calling ahead and going to pick up takeout. Their lunch menu is online and they have $6/$7 paninis... That's the kind of thing that I usually do for lunch, and I forgot that most people just walk up and try to order.

Nov 07, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Everyday Allston Village Lunch Recs?

Carlo's Cucina Italiano is super close to there and it's well worth the time. I'm pretty sure they serve lunch. http://www.carloscucinaitaliana.com/

Nov 07, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

New Jang Su in Burlington for lunch today

I like New Jang Su - it's the only decent Korean BBQ place I can find in the greater Boston area - and I've looked! Korean BBQ is really hard to find here. However, I've also been annoyed that they won't let you cook for yourself - after all, that's half the point! Also, I usually over-order, so my bill usually comes out a lot higher than that.

Bostonfoodie - have you any recommendations for any other Korean BBQ places in the greater Boston area? I doubt your mother would appreciate us all showing up at her kitchen :-)

Nov 06, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Disappointing Clio experience

Meant to post this a while ago, but never got around to it - sorry for the delay! About a month ago, a friend of ours was visiting from London and wanted to go to Clio because he had heard so much about it. This guy's a serious foodie - he once went to every three-star Michelin restaurant in the world. Having been to Clio once before, my husband and I were excited to go again because our first experience was fantastic - great service, incredible food - well worth the price.

I'm sorry to say that we were seriously disappointed this time around. In general, the food was adequate, but not nearly up to the standards or prices of Clio. We found some dishes - like the salmon - underseasoned and poorly executed. While others - like the sea urchin/lobster cassoulet presented beautifully but not practically. In that last case, the difficulty of getting all the dish components out to meld the flavors made it a bit disappointing.

I personally had the merlusa (hake) and found the fish itself a bit bland. My husband's duck would have been amazing - had it not been cold.

Worse than everything was the poor service. We had a very nice young waiter who clearly hadn't been a waiter for very long. He seemed confused and forgetful, often required flagging down for drink refills, dessert orders and check requests. There was a line of waiters in the back who seemed unwilling or unable to help each other out. The courses were slow in coming out, with much time between each.

All in all - after the fantastic experience we had the first time we came to Clio, we came out wondering if we should ever return. Has anyone else had this experience recently, or was this just an off night?

My friend, who is an amateur food critic, posted a full review of each dish and our whole experience here if you're interested: http://www.andyhayler.com/show_restau...

Nov 06, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Fun, funky restaurant with good food?

My sisters are coming to town in a couple of weeks, and it's one of their birthdays. I'd like to take them to somewhere fun and funky, but also a little special with super good food. Thinking more along the mid-to-high priced restaurants rather than your really fantastic dives. Any suggestions? Eastern Standard? Sel de la Terre? A really good tapas restaurant? Thanks in advance!

Nov 06, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

China Pearl Dim Sum: still good

I have to say that the last time I went to China Pearl I was really disappointed. CP has always been my staple dim sum restaurant in Boston (for lack of anything better - I'm Chinese and from L.A., so my standards are probably off), but the last time I went - about two months ago - with a few friends, I found the dumplings dry, the baos over cooked, and they had no cha sieu cheung fun. A friend of mine swears by Hei la Moon, and I think I agree that it's of better quality over all.

Jun 05, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

"Destination" Restaurant Downtown

Thanks! Someone suggested Fleur de Lys - any thoughts on that one?

May 15, 2007
lorita113 in San Francisco Bay Area

"Destination" Restaurant Downtown

I have to plan a meal for 8-10 people in downtown SF on short notice. Since I'm not a local, I'm at a loss! Looking for a restaurant which has first and foremost amazing food, good service, business-suitable atmosphere (nice, not stuffy, but not a couples' restaurant either). Basically a place that would make you want to give up your free time to attend a business dinner you might not want to go to. Thanks in advance!

May 15, 2007
lorita113 in San Francisco Bay Area

Graduation Dinner

How about Eastern Standard or Petit Robert Bistro in Kenmore Square? Sel de la Terre might be nice too.

May 15, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Reasonably priced sushi...

Depends on what you're looking for. Sushi Express on Beacon Street (just down the block from the Ginza on St. Mary's St., Green C-line St. Mary's T-stop) is really cheap, but the atmosphere is horrendous. The sushi's pretty good, especially for the price, but they also have a very limited menu. It's more of a take out place. They sell sushi by the piece, and most pieces of nigiri cost $1.05. Totally worth it IMO.

May 15, 2007
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

High-End Dinner

Thanks everyone! I'll let you know what we end up deciding and how it all turns out. Sounds like there are a few places we need to try!

Dec 17, 2006
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

High-End Dinner

Trying to find someplace new for an anniversary dinner in January. We've been to Clio, Radius, Spire (in the Gabriel Frasca era), L'Espalier, The Oak Room. I know I've been to No. 9 Park, but it's been years, and I don't remember what I think of it. I was thinking about Rialto, No.9 Park, Pigalle and Grill 23. Any suggestions?

Dec 15, 2006
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area

Best Chinese in Brookline for Christmas Eve

I know I'm a little behind on this post, but I highly recommend Victoria's Restaurant on Commonwealth Avenue right before Packard's Corner. While it's in Boston, not Brookline, and the ambiance leaves something to be desired, the food is amazing and better than almost every Chinese restaurant in Brookline (and believe me - I've tried most of them).

Sichuan Garden is also good, but it depends on what kind of Chinese food you want. Victoria's is more Cantonese/Hong Kong-style.

Dec 15, 2006
lorita113 in Greater Boston Area