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Best pad thai in the Boston area?

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  • jojo Aug 10, 2004 04:53 PM
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I love Pad Thai, but I've only had it from Coconut Cafe, and Lam's (both in Newton). I'm wondering if I'm missing anything by not trying other Thai places. Does Moody St have any restaurants with great Pad Thai? Or anywhere else in the Boston area? Thanks!

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  1. Well, definitely try out Dok Bua (see many threads on that one) and Kao Sarn, both on Harvard Street in Brookline. Honestly I have not had the Pad Thai at either; the owners at both places complained to me that that's all most of their American customers want, and they pray each time that they'll try something new. Anyway, thought I'd share that. There are some other amazing noodle dishes in the Thai repertoire!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Zatan

      I gottah say, Dok Bua and Khao Sarn are my A-Number-One choices for Thai, but I don't like the pad thai at either!!! I'm convinced that great, authentic Thai places don't do "noodle-stand" cooking that well...OTOH, they both do exemplary versions of pad kee mao, which I think beats pad thai any day of the week...Wide noodles with chili, lots of basil, eggplant, egg and whatever protein you like..I particularly like it with squid...Pad Kee mao, BTW, means drunken noodles; so spicy that you have to drink a lot to quench the fire, but I find they're good for a hangover,too...

      When I get the craving for pad thai, I go to Rod Dee, for a big ole greasy mess o' noodles....They do 'em the way I like, with enuff bean sprout and peanuts...Altho I have to say, usually, I make'em myself...

      Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

      1. re: galleygirl

        i second the Rod Dee rec. there's not a whole lot else i'd get from that place, but their pad thai is just how i like it. sometimes i get it with crispy chicken if i'm need of more grease.

        1. re: Nab

          Rod Dee's good for other noodle & rice dishes, too. I really like their Pad Kee Mow, Pad See You, Pad Kra Pao, Crispy Chicken with Basil, and their Indonesian Fried Rice.

          BK

          1. re: BK

            Don't forget their Nam Sod... mmmm

          2. re: Nab

            And I'll third the Rod Dee recommendation. I've had pad thai at at least a dozen restaurants in the area and that's far and away my favorite.

            Second would be the country-style at Sweet Chili in Arlington.

          3. re: galleygirl

            I agree, I don't like the pad thai at Dok Bua either. Something about the balance of flavors just doesn't do it for me. But there's so much other stuff on the menu that's fabulous that I don't even think of ordering it very often.

        2. The King and I on Charles Street on Beacon Hill serves a pretty good version. For added zip, request for a wedge of lime and squeeze it over the noodles.

          1. Best pad thai I've ever had in the area is from Tamarind House, on Mass Ave near Porter Square. A little spicier and cooked just right (not dry or oversteamed like a lot of places).

            5 Replies
            1. re: weathermasta

              Personally, I think Coconut Cafe's pad thai rocks, especially when paired with the duck!

              There is usually an overabundance of meat, of somewhat varying quality, sure, but it hits my sweetspot on the cost/quality/quantity axes.

              I have yet to find another place in Boston that offers duck pad thai...it's almost always the combination of washed out, stringy white meat chicken and the overcooked, occasionally odd-tasting shrimp.

              1. re: Al Fresco

                Rod Dee has the duck pad thai, although the duck itself was disgusting the one time i had it. Dok Bua can pretty sure accomodate your requests too, although not so sure you want to order pad thai there (a waste IMO).

                1. re: Nab

                  But people rave about their duck larb....

                  Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    if it's Dok Bua's larb you're talking about, i wholeheartedly agree (they're heavy on the mint & lemongrass which i like). haven't had Rod Dee's, but i just know the 2 times i've had duck there (pad thai & curry) it was awful. there are a few good dishes at Rod Dee though.

                    oh, i should clarify that i've been referring to Rod Dee II in the Fenway area (not the Beacon St. one), which may or may not make a difference.

                    1. re: Nab

                      Yep, I meant the larb at Dok Bua..In fact, anyone I bring there seems to love all their duck dishes, even less-adventurous eaters..;)

                      I hit the Rod Dee in Brookline for my pad thai fix.

                      Link: http://www.bistrodraw.com

            2. While I love Dok Bua for most everything else, Brown Sugar Cafe has a "country-style" pad thai that's great - chili oil adds some spice (and some of that yummy street-food grease feel), and they include yummy turnip bits as well. Much better as an eat-in food than take-out, though, as sometimes they don't distribute the sauce well in the take-out box.

              1 Reply
              1. re: xiaodan

                Absolutely agree with you. The padthai at Roddee and Dokbua are both too sweet i think. But the country style at Brown Sugar is great. it's also a bit spicier than normal, i think.

              2. Rock Sugar on Batterymarch St. in the Fin. District - it is brand new. Very good!

                1 Reply
                1. re: mjp96

                  I agree w/ the Brown Sugar reco.

                2. Sweet Chile in Arlington has excellent pad thai, both country-style and regular.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hiddenboston

                    Oooh yeah, haven't been there in years, but I remember a delicious chicken & macademia dish . . .

                    God, I have to stay off here around lunch time. I'm starved.

                  2. Is that the same Sweet Chile that has a branch in Inman Square, Cambridge. and also serves sushi? Their pad thai is good, to be sure.

                    TABNGENT: My favorite thing on their menu are the "thai veggie dumplings" which are coaster-sized patties of panfried glutinous rice (I think) stuffed with spinach and served with a sticky-sweet and salty dipping sauce. Yum! They also do a great "yellow curry noodles"—udon-type noodles in a rich, sweet, and spicy sauce/broth with wonderful veggies and tofu (meat available too).

                    I'm usually suspicious of multi-cuisine asian restaurants, but the Thai at Sweet Chile is great!

                    1. Yes, they are owned by the same folks. My bad, by the way. It's Sweet Chili, not Sweet Chile...

                      1. Right you are! And I followed you down the garden path of mispelling!

                        1. Just a note - I believe the Coconut Cafe is one of the few places that offers duck pad thai -

                          I think Coconut's version of the noodle dish is really outstanding when paired with the duck - it's sometimes delish comfort food, other times simply tasty.

                          1. Back to the original question regarding Moody st. Erawin of Siam is a very good thai restaurant on moody st. Been there for a long time, sort of towards the end of the street. I have never got pad thai there but I have eaten there at least a dozen times and have never had a bad meal. Im sure the pad thai is equally tasty.

                            1. Brown Sugar - another vote
                              Sweet Chilies - a close 2nd
                              Bangkok Paradise - worth a trip - Salem, MA