I just got home from my first trip to Anise in Kendall Sq. The food was generally great, but (as I kind of expected from posts on this board) we were one of only three tables occupied--at 7:30 on a Saturday night! On the way from the car to the restaurant we passed Atasca--packed; Emma's--packed; and the Blue Room--pretty full. Anise was empty. We had whole-wheat sesame noodles with chicken, pork ribs, bok choi with mushrooms, and jumbo shrimp with dry peppers. Everything was interesting and profoundly satisfying, deeply- and distinctly-flavored, and the shrimp were verging on excellent. Plus, it was H! O! T! --the shrimp garnered only one chili-pepper menu icon, and the scale goes up to three! So, ECG Hell Night fans can go and have their own personal Hell Night any night of the year! (The fancy cocktails are kind of ECG-reminiscent too.) The service was enthusiastic if somewhat amateur/uninformed. In sum, I hope people go and check Anise out--if nothing else, you can be sure of getting a table at prime time.