Some Hound Advice- Elephant Walk Boston
I had been to Elephant Walk Boston years ago and recall it being very enjoyable. At the time there did seem to be a consensus about sticking to either the French or the Cambodian side of the menu. I have also noticed that since my last visit they have added 3 and 4 course tasting menus.
My wife is taking me and a group of friends there Friday for my BD. I would be thankful for any input regarding the current mindset as to the best way to enjoy a dining experience at EW. Thanks in advance for your points of view.
I used to go regularly to the Elephant Walk in Cambridge as one of two places when we needed an unplanned, late-night dinner. (They close somewhat early, but their rush is early and they do not rush you out while you are eating.) And I went to Carambola a fair bit.
The French side of the menu does have some strengths and invaribly one person ordered from it, while the other ordered from the cambodian side. They did do an excellent steak frites, but have put a kobe beef entree in its place. They also used to offer an open ravioli on the specials menu, which was the closest I have had in Boston to a similar dish I ate in Brussels.
So there is some value for the French side of the menu and if you want a pure cambodian experience, floating rock might be a better choice. However, for a fairly low key place to enjoy a few glasses of wine and pick what suits your fancy, Elephant Walk is pretty good. The Loc Lac is very tasty, as are the rouleaux... and I particularly like the Amok Royal and have enjoyed the Saiko Cha K'dao.
I think it would be hard to do "family" style in a group as the plates are not that large, but definately share with your partner.
My feeling is that the French side of the menu is not terrible, but if you want French food, I think you're better off going to any of about a dozen better French places in town. Elephant Walk's Cambodian cuisine is by many accounts plenty Westernized already: it's just not that scary. But I do tend to order from the French side of the menu for dessert.
The menu is done in a Western style of appetizers and entrees. I miss the more family-style approach of the former all-Cambodian menu at the EW Waltham outlet, then known as Carambola. Perhaps you could approach the spirit of this by sharing lots of dishes. It's all good, but I especially like the rouleaux, nataing, b'baw mouan (a soup), salade Cambodiegnne, mee siem au poulet (a noodle dish), and the vegetable curry.