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Crispy Pad Thai in Somerville/Cambridge

I love crispy pad thai. Unfortunately its hard to find. The best was at Fusion Express (Davis,) but now that they are gone I don't know where to go. I've found that Erawan of Siam in Waltham (Moddy St) has best but I don't want to have to go to Waltham everytime I want crispy pad thai. I've had the dish at Sugar and Spice (Porter) and it was vile. Twice. Any suggestions?

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  1. Question on cripsy pad thai: I've only had this once and while the flavor was good, it was rather dry (I guess you could expect that) and the noodles were like thin chow mein noodles--is that how it's supposed to be? or did I just pick the wrong place to try it? I'm hoping for the latter.

    Thanks!

    3 Replies
    1. re: SeaSide Tomato

      I'm pretty sure that's more or less what it is...from what I've had at least. It's usually pretty sweet and very crispy. The thing is, my Thai friend says it's actually called something else in Thailand, so I guess Crispy Pad Thai is a misnomer

      1. re: chowda

        It's aka mee krob. Dunno of any other names. And I actually like the version I've gotten at the Thai place in the Super 88 food court, which is outside your target range I realize. It's a rare indulgence, but it's been pleasantly crunchy with the noodles not stale (as they've tasted other places I've tried it, sort of like canned chow mein noodles), a nice balance of sauce to noodles and nice fresh shrimp there when I've gotten it. You notice the sweetness in the sauce a bit more than with regular pad thai, but it's got some tang too.

        1. re: psora

          I had no idea mee krob was the same thing! OT, in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Kumar is wearing a Mee Krob t-shirt.

    2. There is a new thai place that opened in Davis next to O'Naturals (I don't remember the name). My sister tried it and was raving about how good the food was and at great (read, cheap) prices. I don't know if they have crispy pad thai, but you could try. It's definitely on my list of places to try soon.

      4 Replies
      1. re: heathermb

        Are you referring to the restaurant where Fusion Express used to be? (It now has a yellow overhang, and a weird (IMO) name?

          1. re: heathermb

            You are thinking of "Benjapons," just outside the square.

            1. re: a l i c e

              I've called Benjapons and they do not serve crispy pad thai.

      2. Try The Similans in Cambridge, next to the Cambridgeside galleria. It has the same owners as Brown Sugar Cafe...it's listed even on their website!

        http://www.brownsugarcafe.com/

        The Similans
        145 1st Street
        Cambridge, MA 02142

        1. Tamarind House is on Mass Ave, on the other side of Porter from Sugar and Spice. They definitely have the dish.

          Caveat: this is the only place I ever tried it, after which I thought to myself, "well, I learned something today: I don't think I like the crispy pad thai." Not sure if that means they make a "vile" version, or if I just don't like the dish -- this version was tooth-crunchingly firm, and very sweet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: finlero

            i actually really like the crispy pad thai at tamarind house, but it's definitely different for regular pad thai.

          2. There's also Tip Top Noodle Shop. I've never been there -- I've only driven past it so I have NO idea if it's a good restaurant or if they even have that dish.

            Tip Top Noodle Shop
            1153 Broadway (Cross Street: Holland Street)
            Somerville, MA 02144

            1 Reply
            1. re: chowda

              Tip Top Thai does not have crispy pad thai either. I've been there before and its a good place. They just don't serve what I'm after.

            2. Next door in Arlington is Sweet Chili. They have a very good crispy pad thai; at least they did two years ago when I had it there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hiddenboston

                Sala Thai on Mass. Ave in Arlington Heights has it on the menu, too, as does the new Pho and Thai in Waverly in Belmont. Not in Cambridge/Somerville, but closer to the OP than Waltham. I haven't had it at either place, but have enjoyed the other dishes I've had.

              2. Sorry this isn't nearby, but Coconut Cafe in Newton Centre makes a great crispy pad thai. Makes me hungry whenever I think of it... like now for instance, I'll have to get some tonight.

                1. Changsho on Mass Ave between Harvard and Porter Squares has it. Many of their dishes seem like they are aimed at lowest-common-denominator appeal, but I have had a few good things there. Just haven't tried their crispy pad thai.

                  1. Khao Sarn Cuisine on Harvard St in Brookline has crispy pad thai...mmmmm

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: clint

                      i love their crisy pad thai and all their other dishes. Jeez i love that place

                    2. I've always enjoyed the crispy PT at jae's (jaescafe.com).

                      gone from inman sq :(, but still in the south end, brookline, and north adams.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: grg

                        And I haven't tried it, but noticed this weekend that Smile Thai Cafe in Harvard Sq. also offers it on their menu. They have some tasty dishes to offer, so it may be worth a try. http://www.smilethaicafe.com/

                      2. Rod Dee in Brooline or in Fenway Boston. They have good crispy pad thai.

                        1. Sugar and Spice in Somerville, on Mass Ave right near the Porter Sq. T station has some great CPT!!! I hope it is still there!!! When I was living in Cambridge I got it all the time!

                          1. By far the best Pad Thai I've had in the area and probably anywhere is the Country Pad Thai at Lemon Thai Cuisine in Somerville...its not crispy pad thai but has lots of very crispy fried tofu and dried baby shrimp in it....so good...I don't see a Crispy Pad Thai on their menu though.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Aphex

                              Wow, I am glad you like it so much!
                              I have had that more than a few times at Lemon Thai and it is good, though for me, I don't put it in the Pantheon because it's very heavy and the fried tofu can be a little tough to chew at times. The dried shrimp makes it very shrimpy, which is a good thing. Still, a good local choice for sure. Also like their chicken wing app - generous serving, good fry job.

                            2. I had lunch at Spice Thai in Harvard Square today and noticed they have Crispy Pad Thai on the menu. Don't know if it's any good though as I had the Drunken Noodles (which was very tasty).

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Dea

                                I like the Crispy Pad Thai at Spice. It is a bit sweet, but very flavorful. I find crispy pad thai to be almost be an appetizer as an entree.

                                Also, 9 Tastes has Crispy Pad Thai on the menu, but haven't tried it yet.

                                1. re: sounddog

                                  which one is the one on JFK across from peet's? b/c i had crispy pad thai from that place recently and it was terrible--so sickly sweet it was cloying. urgh.

                              2. Not in the requested area, but Chow Thai Cafe on Main St in Charlestown has it on their menu. I've never had it before, but the food there is fine...(read: not the best I've ever had, but convenient to my office)

                                1. We were recently staying on Huntington and by accident stopped at Pho & I just down from the Symphony Hall. They had a crispy pad thai that was excellent! I would love to reproduce it at home, but am stuck. It was not dry at all. Very light, citrus-ish and sweet. Any good ideas on how to recreate it would be MUCH appreciated! I think I got a little bit addicted to it in a matter of 4 days!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: path

                                    I once saw the noodles being prepared on a TV show. Thin rice sticks are put into a big pot of boiling oil. Presto, they blow up into a huge mass of crispiness and are instantly removed from the pot and drained on towels. It reminded me of that spray-in insulation which instantly expands to dozens of times its size. Not something to be tackled at home unless you want to invest in gallons of oil.

                                  2. Jae's in Boston and Sweet Lemons in Weymouth. We were introduced to crispy pad thai at Jae's - unbelievable - but WOW we were amazed at how perfect it was at both of the Sweet Lemons locations in Weymouth. My son-in-law always gets broccoli fried rice (I think!) but the rest of us get plates and plates of the crispy pad thai. Here's their website, if you want to check it out: http://sweetlemonsthai.com/index.htm