The Place f.k.a. Smile Thai Cafe in Harvard Sq.
Has anyone been to the latest incarnation of the space that used to be Smile Thai Cafe in Harvard Square? If so, how is it? I've been to Spice and 9 Tastes (I think they have the same owner) and was not terribly impressed. What's the best place for Thai in the Square? Please don't send me to other neighborhoods because I'm meeting a friend in the Square tonight.
I'm from the Bay Area and have been generally disappointed with the Thai scene in Boston. I'm living in Harvard Square and have sworn off both 9 Tastes and Spice (yes, same owner- actually the same guys that tried to open Shabu Square and failed within 6 months). I find the food at both 9T and Spice inconsistent. You just can't say 'oh I love the yellow curry there' because it is a different dish each time, which to me speaks of unprofessionalism in the kitchen.
I've also been served undercooked (pink) chicken in my Tom Kha Gai at Spice and can't really get that rubbery cold bird / impending salmonella taste out of my mouth. They didn't even offer to reimburse the soup after I brought it to their attention!!
The lunch boxes at Spice are often pre-made and I've been them cold. They've also hiked up their prices in the last year, though this is not reflected on their online menu (they have old prices) even though I've mentioned it to them on three separate occasions.
OK, now that I've gotten that out of my system, on to Smile. I generally like Smile better, though find the dishes to be a tad on the heavy side. I've also noticed that this is seasonal. The food tastes (and most likely is) much fresher in the summer.
I haven't been to the new Smile. Out of the other places, I don't think there really is any good Thai in the square.
If you don't mind being sent just to a slightly different neighborhood, I think your best bet in the area is Tamarind House on Mass Ave in the Porter direction, about a 10-minute walk away.