HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Crispy Pad Thai in Somerville/Cambridge

bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 05:43 PM

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. SeaSide Tomato RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 05:48 PM

    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.


    3 Replies
    1. re: SeaSide Tomato
      chowda RE: SeaSide Tomato Sep 19, 2006 06:23 PM

      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
        psora RE: chowda Sep 20, 2006 04:20 AM

        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
          daigle RE: psora Sep 20, 2006 12:32 PM

          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. heathermb RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 05:50 PM

      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
        chowda RE: heathermb Sep 19, 2006 05:58 PM

        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: chowda
          heathermb RE: chowda Sep 19, 2006 06:04 PM

          I think so, yes.

          1. re: heathermb
            a l i c e RE: heathermb Sep 19, 2006 06:15 PM

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

            1. re: a l i c e
              bcooperman RE: a l i c e Sep 22, 2006 08:02 PM

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

      2. c
        chowda RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 05:54 PM

        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!


        The Similans
        145 1st Street
        Cambridge, MA 02142

        1. finlero RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 06:04 PM

          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
            jenga RE: finlero Nov 21, 2006 03:25 AM

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

          2. c
            chowda RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 06:15 PM

            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
              bcooperman RE: chowda Sep 22, 2006 08:03 PM

              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. hiddenboston RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 06:25 PM

              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
                bear RE: hiddenboston Aug 20, 2008 09:29 AM

                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. steinpilz RE: bcooperman Sep 19, 2006 08:51 PM

                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. d
                  daigle RE: bcooperman Sep 20, 2006 12:30 PM

                  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. c
                    clint RE: bcooperman Nov 4, 2006 07:22 PM

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: clint
                      bitsubeats RE: clint Nov 21, 2006 02:57 AM

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

                    2. g
                      grg RE: bcooperman Nov 5, 2006 07:05 PM

                      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
                        grg RE: grg Nov 21, 2006 02:52 AM

                        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. k
                        krush RE: bcooperman Aug 20, 2008 09:12 AM

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

                        1. s
                          spicemistress RE: bcooperman Sep 10, 2008 06:52 PM

                          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. a
                            Aphex RE: bcooperman Sep 11, 2008 06:44 PM

                            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
                              Bob Dobalina RE: Aphex Sep 12, 2008 05:11 AM

                              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. Dea RE: bcooperman Sep 12, 2008 01:53 PM

                              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
                                sounddog RE: Dea Sep 14, 2008 04:44 PM

                                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
                                  autopi RE: sounddog Sep 28, 2008 03:37 PM

                                  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.

                                  1. re: autopi
                                    fredid RE: autopi Sep 28, 2008 04:32 PM

                                    9 Tastes is the one on JFK.

                              2. i
                                italyinmind RE: bcooperman Sep 18, 2008 07:42 AM

                                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. p
                                  path RE: bcooperman Sep 28, 2008 03:25 PM

                                  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
                                    greygarious RE: path Oct 18, 2008 04:43 PM

                                    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. b
                                    bessiebessie RE: bcooperman Mar 13, 2009 03:41 PM

                                    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

                                    Show Hidden Posts