JP Scene: My 2 cents so far....
Moved to JP about 2 months ago. Here's my JP roundup so far. I'd love to hear about anything I've missed...
JP Seafood: Haven't strayed from the sushi items, but I'd have to say it's a pretty solid deal. I'm kind of a sushi snob and this stuff has been consistently fresh and good quality. Some of the weirder roll combinations involving lemon and cilantro don't float my boat, but everything else is quite good. Service has always been excellent.
Cafe D: The burger and fries are out of this world. My girlfriend and I were so blown away, we just keep going back and getting the same thing. There's something about the fries that makes them exceptionally good..Bibb salad is excellent too. They give you bread when you sit down and there's a bottle of deliciously flavored olive oil at the table. Service is excellent. Can't speak to the rest of the menu bcos I'm addicted to the burger and fries...
Wonder spice: I "wonder" how this place stays in business. 3 out of the 4 times we went there, the service was atrocious. Twice, we sat at our table for over 20 minutes without so much as a menu or water and eventually had to get up and leave because we were so hungry. The menu is not your typical thai restaurant- they don't have traditional green curry, massaman curry, etc. They do have various combinations of vegetables and chicken/beef/shrimp/tofu and some noodle and fried rice dishes. On the whole, I think the weakness is in their sauces- they're just kind of bland and too sweet in general. Along with the food being consistently mediochre, the prices are a little too high to justify it, so you wind up leaving the place feeling truly crappy. Also, the dining room is incredibly loud and has nothing to absorb the sound, so if there's a big loud party you might have trouble having a quiet conversation.
Centre street cafe: Breakfast here is superb. Nuff said (other posters have expounded on this). Try to get there early. As for the dinner menu, it's kind of split into an expensive menu with things that sound good but I've never tried bcos I can't afford it and a cheaper menu with 4-5 different types of stir-frys. The stir-frys are ok but nothing to write home about. They're decidedly not good enough to inspire me to go back there for dinner any time soon. I do like the ambience here though. Perhaps I'll try the higher quality menu sometime.
Bukhara: Only had the lunch buffet so far, but it was tasty and affordable.
Ten Tables: I was frankly disappointed here. Granted, the fact that the airconditioning was not working that night tested my patience, but I found the menu surprisingly limited with no specials available. Also, portions were on the skimpy side. They did not offer any non-alcoholic beverages other than water (no soda, juice) and only offered one brand of beer. Lastly, we waited a long time for our food and the waiter wasn't all that friendly. Bummer, because I had heard such good things about it. I suppose I'd give it one more chance allowing for an off night on their part.
Doyles: Fun place to hang but the food is like what you'd expect at a cheap wedding cruise: Very edible but not very memorable.
JP licks: This place can neutralize the bad effects of even the worst meal....
Canto 6 is a bakery on Washington street. Whoa! the brioche, muffins and other baked goods are out of this world. Blows the sweet finnish or that italian place next to harvest way out of the water. Excellent coffee too.
On my list to try: La papusa, el oriental, alchemy (although my girlfriend said it was not good)
wonder spice: the one solid thing i've found there is their crispy ginger fish. that i like quite a bit. the other thai place on centre street i was not impressed by.
i agree that canto 6 is far and away the best bakery in jp. i'm not that into their coffee though; and one thing fiori's is good for is cannolis.
have you had the burgers at zon's and/or costello's? i'm wondering how the cafe d's burger compares.
Absolute - if you promise not to tell anyone, I'll let you in on a secret: if you order takeout from Wonder Spice, you get much more food for the same money. At least that's my experiece, I usually get Pad Thai or the veg. and tofu curry whch comes in a huge container. Two meals easily. And no dealing with bad service.
We went to the Alchemist last night. It's quite a scene and the food is better than decent. (How bad can a place be that plays 50s' favorites like Be Bop A Lula?) I admit it's very loud, but the side room is a bit quieter. Give it a try.
You say Wonderspice is not your typical Thai restaurant, but isn't it Cambodian or some other combination of southeast Asian? I've thought it was okay.
Don't forget to try Miami and as someone said, Zon's and Costellos's. And the Galway House, okay food for pretty cheap. As I mentionedinthe JP Crawl, I'm very curious about the Amory Cafe (I think that's the name, on Amory by Boylston St.). Blue Frog has some good baked stuff. I think Acapulco is kind of okay but haven't been in a while and am definitely not an expert on Mexican. You also didn't mention standbys James Gate and Dogwood. Forest Hills Diner has cheap greasy spoon breakfast. And what about Yely's across from the Stop & Shop?