Eastern Standard in Kenmore is a big, bustling scene.
Helmand in Cambridge - Afghani food is different but approachable and you can watch them cook in the wood oven.
Casablanca in Harvard square has interesting North African inspired food with grewat small plates and the bar side is rather quaint.
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
If you want something really good and less frenetic how about shabu-shabu at Little Q Hotpot in Arlington; it is the best shabu shabu that i have had. Or try the fish in the tank restaurants in Chinatown such as East Ocean Seafood.
1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118