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Aug 15, 2007 08:36 PM

L.A. Chowhound--4 Days in Boston

Boston Hound AnjLM just gave a great report on her long, foodcentric weekend in L.A. Any suggestions for an L.A. Hound spending 4 days in Boston at the end of September? Any kind of food, high end or low end, and price no object, but not a fan of high-end French (generally seems too precious), so I think L'Espalier is out. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. -Mamma Maria or Terramia in the North End for Italian.
    -Sorrelina in the Back Bay for the same
    -Uni in Back Bay for spectacular sushi. (Attached to Clio, but according to your comment, I don't know if you'd like that.) My only reservation about Uni is that you're from Los Angeles, and have enough great choices there. Uni IS pretty creative though.
    -Salts in Cambridge.
    -Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain.
    -Pizzeria Regina in the North End for pizza. (ONLY the one in the North End; the other ones aren't nearly as good.)
    -Neptune Oyster in the North End for great oysters, seafood, and pasta-centric seafood.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bostonbob3

      That's an excellent list. I'd also add a few things that are downscale, but great here--after pizza at Regina's head to Maria's or Modern for a fresh-filled cannoli, and before or after Salts head to Toscanini's in Central Square for the best ice cream in America.

      1. re: Bostonbob3

        I don't think Uni serves sushi though, just sashimi and creative combinations thereof.

        1. re: limster

          True. Pardon the generic use of a specific word. (And shame on me after I spent four years in Hawaii!)

      2. On this side of the river:

        Worth a trip for dinner:
        Central Kitchen
        East Coast Grill
        Cafe Baraka

        If you're in the neighborhood:
        Cambridge One
        Kebab Factory (although I'm not sure why you'd be in that neighborhood)

        You also should check out some of the ethnic food unique to Boston (when in LA, I'm all about the tacos). There should be some info about these on the board:
        Portuguese and Brazilian (Inman Square and East Cambridge)
        Cap Verdean (where??)
        Haitian (Highland Creole in Somerville, haven't been myself yet)
        Peruvian (Rincon Limeno in East Boston among others; is there a big Peruvian community in LA?)

        4 Replies
        1. re: DavisSquare

          I don't think there's a BIG Peruvian community in LA, but there are definitely Peruvian restaurants. On the other hand, I don't recall having seen ANY Cap Verdean or Haitian restaurants anywhere in southern California.

          1. re: ozhead

            Exactly right, ozhead--some pretty good Peruvian restaurants here, but no Cap Verdean or Haitian--can't wait to try them.

            1. re: ozhead

              Actually, there is a very large Peruvian community in LA, since you can find Peruvian in just about every corner of LA. On the other hand, LA doesn't have a significant Portuguese community, so I would recommend that for a visitor to Boston. Here's some more info on the Cape Verdean place:
              I've been to the Haitian Creole place in Somerville a couple times several years ago, and while it's fine, I'm not sure it's a real destination spot. I remember goat stews and fried fish dishes and the rice and beans (like morros). Slow, but friendly service.
              For lunch around Downtown Crossing, I'd say get a chacarero sandwich. While there is some Chilean in LA, this sandwich might be less traditional, but it's pretty darn good. Beef is better than the chicken.
              Make sure to go to some kind of new england seafood place and get a lobster roll, steamers, or fried clams. I like getting to the north shore, but there are good places all around town.

            2. re: DavisSquare

              Two other Cape Verdean places to do some research on are Restaurant Laura (pretty good meal there a few months ago) and Caesaria (haven't been in a while).

            3. Hi cucinamore, welcome to Boston! I would recommend checking out some places near Inman Square in Cambridge for Portuguese or Brazilian. I haven't been to O'Cantinho cafe yet but it's a board favorite for Portuguese. My favorite in that area is Muqueca (Brazilian) for amazing fish stews in clay pots. Afterwards you could head to Christina's ice cream, also in Inman Square, to try one of their many flavors on delicious homemade ice cream. Another great ice cream place is Toscanini's in Central Square.

              Also in Cambridge (on Pearl St. near Central Square) is Cafe Baraka for North African food. Try their rose petal lemonade. They have a Classical Bastilla Torte which needs to be ordered 36 hours in advance (I haven't had it but have heard that it's worth it). FYI: Cafe Baraka does not have a liquor license and is cash only.

              In the North End, some great choices are Neptune Oyster for the hot buttered lobster rolls, oysters, and other seafood dishes, Pizzeria Regina (don't go to any other one but the original), and Antico Forno for great, reasonably priced Italian. Don't forget to hit up some of the Pastry Shops: Mike's Pastry, Modern Pastry, and Maria are much debated on these boards as to who has the best pastries. Although it is touristy, I love the chocolate covered cannolis at Mike's (but I'm not in the majority).

              Not sure where you'll be staying but the South End has some really great (and more pricey) restaurants. I haven't been to many on my student budget but Franklin Cafe (one of the best values in the South End) serves what they call "Modern American" in a cool atmosphere with great drinks...they are also open relatively late for Boston. I would recommend Addis Red Sea but you have great Ethiopian at home! Orinoco is great for Venezuelan. The Beehive which just opened recently is great for drinks and live music. If you search this board for the South End you can find a lot more recs for that area.

              Finally, if you like cheese, we have the best cheese shop ever! Formaggio Kitchen is one of my favorite things about Boston (actually it's in Cambridge outside of Harvard Square). A great selection of cheese with a very knowledgable and helpful staff. They do an amazing bbq on Saturdays from 11-2 which I would highly recommend going to if you're in the area that day (but check their website or call to make sure they are doing it that day).

              Enjoy your trip!

              1 Reply
              1. re: AnjLM

                i cannot thank you all enough--what an incredible bounty you have all suggested! When I tell my friends about how amazing Chowhound is, this is what I'm talking about.

                I promise to report after the trip (although I doubt if I'll be able to do as great a job as AnjLM did regarding her trip to L.A.)

              2. Mamma Maria is a must.
                Sibling Rivarly (creative cuisine; fun atmosphere) is one of my favorites
                Blue Ginger in Wellesley (10 minute drive outside the city & worth it!)
                Lucca's (north end)
                Pigalle (theater district) - very romantic
                Tremont 647 for the pajama brunch
                Kingfish Hall is great for lunch if you are over by Fanuel Hall

                1 Reply
                1. re: erinhurley

                  Just got back from vacationing in Boston. Thanks to some fellow chows for their recs I was able to enjoy some good italian chow in the North End.
                  Definately make the trip to Mikes Pastry shop on Hanover.
                  Pizzeria Regina was tasty as well. However in Toronto we have alot of Italian pizzerias that are quite comparable, so I was not blown away.
                  I was suckered into Union Oyster House when I heard it was the oldest restaurant in the City. This place was interesting in decor, but the food was lacking. I would skip out on it. It seems there are better seafood restaurants in the area