Hi All - West of Boston, what's most unusual?
You really can't beat anything that Waltham has to offer....you name it, we have it and probably all in the same block!!
Some of my favs: Tuscan Grill, Erawan of Siam, Guanachapi's (which is moving to the od Ming on River street with a bar!) they have better pupusas than Mi Tierra, my son who is 1/2 Salvadorian is quite the critic! Il Cappriccio- one of the best wine list in the country and of course Sadie's...very good bar food, service....so-so. Franca's on Felton Street, great specials and a good brick oven pizza.
Casual but worthy in Waltham: Beijing Star (authentic Northern / Eastern Chinese, order off the pink menu and entry whiteboard), Mi Tierra (Salvadoran / Guatemalan, great pupusas), Taqueria El Amigo (teeny terrific Mexican place, wonderful tacos especiales), Sushi Yasu (Korean / Japanese, prefer the former). Fancier and worthwhile: La Campania (Campanian, duh), Il Capriccio (mainly Northern Italian, great wines).
In Billerica: The Pongal (impressive regional Indian, buffet-only at lunch), Sichuan Gourmet (the real deal). In Woburn, Sichuan Garden II (also the real deal, you're blessed to have two such places so close), Lanna Thai (Westernized but respectable Thai in an old diner); Pho #1 (decent Vietnamese with good beef pho). Still planning to try Churrascaria Rodeo (Brazilian steakhouse) up the street. In Burlington, New Jang Su (Korean, with grill tables). Fancier in Burlington: Summer/Winter (interesting, creative New American, from the Arrows people, great small plates).
In Lowell: Phien's Kitchen (homestyle Laotian, wow!), Southeast Asia (nice mix of Southeast Asian street foods).
There's a bunch of interesting-looking stuff in Woburn I have yet to try, like a few Brazilian places.
I know how you feel, we've lived here 20 years. Mass Ave from Lexington onwards through Arlington and down through North Cambridge offers lots of good places:
What is your theory as to why Concord is a food wasteland? (but you can't beat Kimball's or Sally Ann's)