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Lemon Thai Cuisine in Somerville

I've been ordering way too much takeout over the past few months, and have managed to try virtually all of the Thai places in the Davis/Porter/surrounding areas of Cambridge and Somerville. The best, by far, has been Lemon Thai Cuisine, a newish place on Highland Ave in Somerville.

They have excellent "country-style" pad thai, very tasty curries (the mango curry is awesome), and I really like their tom yum soup, which is a bit more tart than the usual takeout versions. I also enjoy their duck dishes, although I found them to be a bit less crispy than I'd like (I haven't found any really good duck at any of the places in the area, unfortunately). The only disappointment has been their fried rice, which I thought was virtually flavorless. Strange, considering the quality of the rest of their food -- I'll have to give it another try soon.

Anyway, just wanted to let those in the area know in case you haven't tried it yet.... And while I'm here, some quick reviews of a few of the other places in the area I've tried more recently:

Benjapon: Really good thai rolls. The rest of the food is surprisingly average. The pad thai was bland, but the pad kee mao was definitely acceptable (despite a bit too much oil--common problem with that dish).

Sugar and Spice: Pretty good food, but awful service both times I've eaten there, and a kind of strangely organized menu. I wouldn't rush back.

Tamarind House: Great pineapple and mango fried rices. They also have some interesting fish dishes; I really enjoyed one in particular that was some sort of fish custard made with salmon. This is also the only Thai restaurant in the area that was willing to make the food spicy enough to cause me pain (my request) -- they get bonus points for that <g>

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  1. Is Lemon Thai's country-style pad thai fairly spicy, ala Sugar and Spice?

    1. How much seating does Lemon Thai have? Is that about midway between Davis Square and City Hall?

      1. Thanks for the review. I drive by almost every day on my way to/from the gym but never stopped in. Now I will!

        1. Finlero: Hard to say; everyone has a different definition of spicy! It's definitely spicier than their normal pad thai, but for me it's still not anywhere near as spicy as I'd like.

          Hiddenboston: Not much. Maybe 6 or 7 tables. And yes, that's where it is.

          1. Thanks. I'm not a big fan of any of those other places, or Thai Kitchen on Mass Ave, or any Thai restaurant in Harvard Square for that matter. So I will check that place out. If you haven't tried Montien in Inman Square you might want to, because they will make dishes spicier than anywhere except maybe Dok Bua.

            1. I just started getting take-out from Lemon Tree -

              Just the other night, I had tom yum soup with shrimp, a cold beef and vegetable salad and country-style pad thai. As take-out goes, they are fine options - I asked that all of the items be "spicy" and they were mildly so for my tastes, i.e., a little burn but I was not sweating, no pain, etc.

              The soup was merely ok - the shrimps were good size, although overcooked, not a surprise. Only a few mushrooms floating, a snip or two of green onion.

              The beef salad was a little soggy, but the hottest of the three dishes and a very generous serving. A couple of griseley pieces in the mix, lots of cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce (iceburg), red onions, and cilantro. A good value.

              Country-style pad thai was loaded with chicken, a few medium sized shrimp (again overcooked), and studded with tiny previously-dried shrimp - lots of peanuts, a generous serving, a little bit of heat.

              One thing is that the price point seems to be about a buck or two below most other similar take-out prices - I think the beef salad was $7, the pad thai $7 or 8, so for that price, overall I was pleased. It is what it is.

              1. Any updates on the status of Lemon Thai in chowhounding estimation? I have reason to consider it tonight. Thanks ...

                3 Replies
                1. re: chickendhansak

                  Is this the same place as Lemon Leaf Thai Cuisine? If so, I believe it closed several months back...

                  1. re: Rickys9

                    I believe Lemon Thai on Highland is still open and is not the place mentioned by Rickys9, as far as I know.
                    I ordered delivery from Lemon Thai a couple of times in the past month or two -
                    I tend to stick with their meat offerings now - their chicken satay is four good sized skewers (flattened). Lemon Thai wings are good sized chicken wings with a tangy duck-sauce like sauce on the side, which I enjoy. And that beef salad, which has its good days and bad. As delivery goes, I can't complain.

                  2. re: chickendhansak

                    FWIW I ordered pad thai and a country style pad thai. It was decent and very local, so a nice option, but I think I'd need to try a curry to truly decide.

                  3. Thanks for this--am on the hunt for good Thai near me and hadn't found it yet. Will try Lemon Thai and Tamarind House (had looked in their windows and wondered before).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Nora Rocket

                      I think Tamarind is higher quality - Lemon Thai is really just ok, but it's cheap so I like it for that at least. But I will be interested to hear how you and
                      Gini find it.

                    2. I've been meaning to try Lemon Thai, thanks for the post. I find Benjapon's curries to be extremely disappointing in flavor and they don't put enough in them for me. Sugar & Spice is better at delivery than eat-in and their menu is fresh, if unadventurous. Probably about as good at Thai as East Asia is. The yuppy of Thai food. I'd heard a rumor that Tamarind House was owned by the same folks as Khao Sarn, but my one visit there proved otherwise. Greasy pad kee mao - there was something about the noodles that was wrong, but I can't remember now, and the laarb was good, if uninteresting. It's probably the best option in the area though for Thai.

                      1. bump seven years later to say I enjoyed my avocado curry tonight and anyone else have opinions of Lemon Thai on Highland in Somerville?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: enhF94

                          I order from them occasionally, they deliver, which makes is nice for lazy nights. I usually order a Pad Thai and Pad Woon Sen, pretty good, when I am too lazy to walk to Sweet Basil in Union.

                          1. re: enhF94

                            I like their food. It's probably my favorite take-out Thai in the area right now. I find the value better than Ginger Thai in Union, and would call it a draw with Rod Dee in Porter which is more expensive although slightly more interesting menu options (more misses too at Rod Dee for me). I don't like Sugar and Spice at all, and don't miss Tamarind House all that much. My other favorite for sit-down is Thai Moon in Arlington, because it's a bit of a drive for take out, for us but I love the heat level on some of their dishes.

                            We don't stray much from our favorites at Lemon Thai, and often will even just recreate our same foodler order (another check mark in the quick-thai-easy-to-order column) of pad thai, crazy noodle, green tofu curry, chicken madness (sort of like gra pow chicken but I love the minced green beans). I don't love that they've recently gone from free delivery to a $2 fee, but such is life. Would be interested to hear if anyone else has any specific dish recommendations.

                            1. re: Parsnipity

                              I've been using the Eat24 app, which has $2 coupons every weekend, so it at least off-sets the delivery charge. Works great, unless you want thai on a weekday. I'll have to try that chicken madness, sounds good.

                          2. Thanks, y’all, now I have a really nice list of items to try!