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good thai?

looking for other good thai places in and around downtown boston. tried king & i and rock candy, both very good. any suggestions would be appreciated. thanks.

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  1. Montien, if you need to be downtown, downtown.

    1. Most people on this board, including me, would recommend Khao Sarn in Coolidg Corner. Fairly outstanding, top to bottom, a bit of a more upscale atmosphere than most Thai places, and lots of authentic dishes. This is a good place to move beyond Pad Thai (though if you choose to get it there, it's one of my favorite renditions).

      Also excellent, but lacking a liquor license, is Dok Bua near Coolidge Corner up Harvard St.

      10 Replies
      1. re: tamerlanenj

        Couldn't agree more. Dok Bua and Khao Sarn are probably my two favorites. Montien is also an excellent choice.

        One other place I like near downtown Boston is The Similans by the Galleria in East Cambridge. They are owned by the same folks who own the Brown Sugar Cafe. Nice atmosphere, excellent food, and rarely crowded.

        1. re: tamerlanenj

          I have to disagree about Khao Sarn. It's really farang-ified. Things like totally non-greasy khao soi with skinned chicken breasts. Bleh.

          Dok Bua used to be really good when she had lots of specials from her home region (if I remember correctly, she's from Nong Khai, but in any case, from Isaan). I used to go there a couple times a week. But she gradually realized that, in order to make money she needed to Americanize, and she wasn't selling enough of the Isaan specials to make it worthwhile. I still go there once in a while, but it's not that great. I remember asking her where _she_ went when she went to dinner, and she said Montien.

          When you go to Montien, it's imperative that you ask for the Thai menu.

          1. re: totoro

            totoro, other than Montien (I assume you go there, that is), where do you go these days for Thai food? Have you found any places that concentrate more on traditional Thai dishes?

            1. re: hiddenboston

              Unfortunately, I haven't. It's pretty much just Montien for me these days (with an occasional order from Rod Dee in Brookline). Dok Bua used to be great, but that was years ago. I've heard rumblings about that new Cambodian place having decent Thai food. I'll have to give that a try.

              1. re: totoro

                Totoro, what do you order at Montien, off the Thai menu?

                1. re: Prav

                  Nothing too earth shattering:
                  I like their yam, esp the yam pla muk, yam pla duk, nam tok, yam neuea, and the larb muu and larb pla duk

                  They make decent som tam and pak bung fai daeng, as well.
                  I like the Sai-krok-e-san and naam from the appetizers, and their tid man are good

                  Really it's all good. The pat phrik king is good, as is the pad pet intestines. Their Thai omelette is good, but so is Dok Bua's. My favorite curry there is the green curry.

                  1. re: totoro

                    I don't have my Thai menu handy and don't speak Thai, but I really like their sliced/crispy pork with basil and peppercorns...moo pad prik thai on??..and the squid salad

                    1. re: 9lives

                      Squid salad is yam pla muk. The only Thai I remember from the few months I spent there long ago is pretty much all about food names :).

                      I think moo pad phrik thai on would have to be the sliced one. Fried is transliterated something like "krop" or "krawp".

            2. re: totoro

              I've had some extremely authentic seeming specials there lately. One reminded me of the yum pla duk foo, except it had crispy fried green papaya strips mixed with an extremely strong fish sauce dressing. I ate twice as much as I should have.

              1. re: totoro

                Interesting you should mention Americanization about Dok Bua-- the last few times I've been there, I've seen a larger than usual number of people sending food back or leaving it uneaten because they found it too spicy (even though my personal complaint is that I can't convince them to make it spicy *enough*) I might add that it's never Americans, in my experience (I won't point fingers at the particular nationalities involved) But I've been increasingly underwhelmed, and at least in CC, stick exclusively to Rod Dee these days...

            3. My first choice is generally Montien. However, I like Chili Duck quit a bit as well. Maybe because the dishes on their "authentic" Thai menu really tend to turn up the heat.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Pegmeister

                Did you know that Chilli Duck is owned by the Montien folks? I like both of them too, especially their authentic menus, and Chilli Duck delivers to the South End. My favorites remain Rod Dee, Dok Bua, and Khao Sarn. We have to take what authenticity we can get here.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  I didn't know Chili Duck was owned by the same people as Montien. The atmospheres are totally different. I'll have to give your other favorites a try.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Everyone has different tastes, and nobody is right or wrong on these issues. My issues with Khai Sarn have mostly to do with the dishes being a bit too sweet, without enough of the roots and fermented fish products. I wish the family at Dok Bua well, and I'm glad they've become so successful, but the food just isn't to my taste anymore.

                    Rod Dee sometimes has Khao Soi in the winter. Their version is pretty good. They also make a really nice fried pla thu with sour bamboo shoots special in the winter.

                    1. re: totoro

                      My comments weren't intended to contradict yours, totoro. Everyone indeed has different tastes, and nobody is right or wrong on these issues -- that's practically a Chowhound truism, and one of the great strengths of this forum. You won't find me making any claims to authority on anything here.

                      By the way, is your handle a Miyazaki tribute? I just love that movie.

                2. My favorite is probably Montien on Stuart St. great food and very convenient for me.

                  My other 2 faves are Dok Bua..lunch last week of beef salad, squid pad ki mow and duck larb..all winners.

                  Khao Sarn..haven't been lately but a fan of their salmon how moak..as well as most everything else.

                  1. A great Thai restaurant, if you want to travel out of downtown Boston a bit, is Amarin of Thailand in Newton Corner. Nice atmosphere and great food. Well worth the trip.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bobs Girl

                      I second Amarin. It is always a relaxing meal, as well as fresh and delicious.