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What is the best THAI food in Boston?

Traveling to Boston this summer and would like to know your opinion of a good THAI restaurant...thoughts?

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  1. Dok Bua, in Brookline.

    Khao Sarn in Brookline.

    Rod Dee in Brookline.

    They are located on Google ave. :)

    7 Replies
    1. re: Prav

      There are many threads on this topic, so you might want to do a search within the site. My personal favorites are probably Dok Bua, Khao Sarn, Thai Moon in Arlington Center, and Brown Sugar on Comm. Ave. in Boston.

      1. re: hiddenboston

        There's also a Brown Sugar (original location?) in the Fenway on Jersey street

        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

          Yes, that's the original Brown Sugar. I tend to avoid that one because of parking, especially when the Sox are in town.

        2. re: hiddenboston

          Ditto Dok Bua - and they are brown bag!

          1. re: hiddenboston

            Second Thai Moon.
            I wonder if anyone on this board has eaten at Sripraphai in Queens, NY and was wondering if they felt that any boston area Thai comes close to it?

            1. re: nasilemak

              I recently had a great meal at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, which has drawn comparisons to Sripraphai on the boards. If we assume transitivity in Thai restaurants, the places I've been here are not as good, though they do not all aspire to the same refined experience (Khao Sarn, Montien in Boston, Rod Dee 2, Dok Bua, and some place near Harvard Sq). Sounds like I should try Thai Moon.

              If you want your larb and spicy stir fried noodles, we do quite well around here. If you want higher end, elaborate curries, I don't think we're quite at that level.

              1. re: nasilemak

                I've eaten at Sripraphai and Lotus of Siam, and none of our options is as good ... but you know, some dishes at Dok Bua come close to Sripraphai, see: duck larb. What I especially liked at LoS were the Issan thai dishes -- sour sausage, Issan curries, etc.

                I've not been to S&I yet.

          2. My Thai friends like Dok Bua and Rod Dee the best. There are 2 Rod Dees....one in Brookline and one near Fenway.

              1. re: Taralli

                If you end up at Montien (probably my fave), ask for the Thai menu.

                I'm a fan of Dok Bua and Khao Sarn too.

                1. re: 9lives

                  Montien has a nice set of lunch specials which includes the option of having one or two chicken curry puffs (theirs are terrific), they deliver locally, and you can get the lunch specials as take-out. I like the place a lot. I'd also say that the Eggplant Tofu Curry at Rod Dee is great. It may be new, I'm not sure.

              2. add s&i thai in allston to the list. order off the thai menu

                1. If you're renting a car and you find yourself in the near-west suburbs, check out Erawan of Siam on Moody Street in Waltham. Everything I've had there has been great. A personal favorite is the pad thai country style, which is basically a spicy (made with Thai chili sauce) version of pad thai.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: maxim0512

                    Has Erawan of Siam changed chefs in the past year or so? Last time there
                    ( winter 2006-07 ) we couldn't get them to ramp up the heat on a few dishes that we wanted "spicey to very spicey". Our wait person seemed to understand what we wanted, but when served, the fooded lacked fire. Adding some cold chili sauce/paste after the fact is not the same as cooking the ingredients with nice fresh Thai chilies... We tried one more trip back, but the result was the same - bland, dumbed down Thai for suburbanites....
                    The folks at Brown Sugar seem to get it when you ask for a dish to be prepared "spicey:. We've never had a bad meal there.

                  2. My girlfriend is a thai foodie and these are the recommendations after our extensive eating.

                    Upscale - definitely Brown Sugar. Not many people know it but they have an excellent Thai menu that you could ask about or try to translate. The normal menu is decent too, but the Thai menu gives you the real deal for what you'd get eating out somewhere good in Thailand.

                    Street Food - S&I Thai To Go in Allston is just about the winner here, order specials from the photos on the wall and chat to the owner about what's new. They've just added a wonderful duck noodle soup. Rod Dee (2 locations) comes a very close second to S&I for good cheap street food and I'm told is better for soupy dishes.

                    Dinner with friends - Dok Bua. It's not upscale and it's not as good as the street food specialists, but it's good food in a fun place with plenty of seats (Rod Dee and S&I have limited seating). The dishes run sweeter than in most places.

                    Very few people in the Thai circles I know ever talk about any Thai restaurants except these four, and none of the other 10+ we've tried come close.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: teaTomE

                      I'm really pleased to hear about the authentic Thai menu at Brown Sugar. I recall its food being much more authentic a few years ago, and then the dishes I loved in the more authentic style disappeared, and I gave up on it. (Doesn't help that it's across the street from Trattoria Toscana.) Is the real menu only printed in Thai?

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        I've had trouble finding good Thai ever since I ate at Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon.... If anyone has been there, is there anything like this in Boston? (Check out the whiskey soda lounge menu on their web site, www.pokpokpdx.com). I've just never seen a menu like this anywhere else. Definitely one of the most amazing food experiences of my life.

                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          I just remembered this evening that I never replied to this. The Thai menu was at the Commonwealth Ave Brown Sugar. I asked my girlffriend for the inside scoop and inexplicably she assured me that the Comm Ave location is the only one worth going to. All I can guess is that they aren't up to scratch at the Fenway or Cambridge (Similans) location or that they decided to leave Comm Ave as the only one with the authentic menu due to the sizeable asian community in Allston.

                          It is true that the people I know in Thai circles only seem to go to the Comm Ave location. Fenway is where they head for Rod Dee. And funnily enough, you can sometimes catch the Brown sugar staff eating in S&I.

                          1. re: teaTomE

                            If the Comm Ave Brown Sugar is the good one, I shudder to think what the others must be like.

                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              Can't say I've had anything but underwhelming experiences at the Comm Ave Brown Sugar, but then again, the original on Jersey St hasn't been as good as I remember it from the early days for many years. Is there a secret code, handshake, phrase one must utter to get the good stuff? I know the trick at S&I: harangue the staff relentlessly until you convince them you've tasted real Thai food before -- which is worth the effort.

                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                OK, this part of the thread has galvanised me from being a long time lurker.
                                To give a base of my tastes, I have been to Dok Bua and Khao Sarn many times and now feel both are rapidly going down the tubes. We have been to Sripraphai in queens and loved it. We also love the Laotian restaurants in Lowell etc.
                                Yes you can go to Brown Sugar in comm ave and get the pad thai and the green curry, as a bonus because they know the mass market for this you will be served minutes after them taking your order.
                                But hidden amongst the tourist items are some real gems. Maybe not to the Sriprphai's standards but then you don't have to travel 4 - 5hours.
                                They have the crispy double fried catfish, the crispy watercress salad with no description to let you know it is perfect.
                                Forgive me forgetting the names but there is also a crispy black fish dish at the tail end of the appetizers we loved.
                                In their special area they describe a citrus marinated raw shrimp dish with jalapenos which sounds like ceviche.
                                I can tell you it is certainly not ceviche. The shrimp is still raw but abounding with the citrus elements
                                Goong Chae Num Pla **
                                Raw shrimp in very spicy fish sauce & lime dressing.

                                I am certain this is what we had
                                Numpik Gapi Pla Tu **
                                Thai herbs spicy shrimp paste with Thai mackerel & steam vegetables.
                                It was very much like prahok, an extreme taste but certainly not run of the mill


                                They also have Miang Kum in their appetizer section.

                                We have had two outstanding meals there and I would recommend it to hounds. Just be careful to look for the hidden treasures

                                1. re: Janeinma

                                  Very good post Janeinma !

                                  One of the problems with the Brown Sugar menu for most folks is that it offers so many dishes, most people give up and order "familiar" Thai food, without ever discovering the real gems in the Thai Style Dishes section of the menu. Some of these dishes are the best I've had outside of Bangkok ( the city, not the restaurant ).

                        1. re: beeker77

                          A really great Thai place way up on Comm Ave is Bamboo. I am always surprised more people dont mention it when talking about local Thai places.
                          I think its much better than Montien and Brown Sugar, much sharper cleaner flavors. I would put it second only to Dok Bua