Good eats today - Life Alive, Central Sq. and Ronnarong Thai, Somerville
Lunch for the first time at Life Alive in Central Sq. The space is inviting, staff was really friendly. My udon miso soup was quite tasty and filling (~$9). Chock-full of veggies and noodles and steaming hot. Refreshing cucumber-infused water for free. Friend had a wrap that she liked but we were so involved in our conversation that I didn't get details. I was afraid it would be too touchy-feel-y, new age-y but I liked it! I'll be back!
Dinner at Ronnarong Thai in Union Sq. tonight since our groupon was going to expire in 10 days. We just got back from a trip to Thailand/SE Asia so we were keeping our expectations on the low side. But our first time there and we really enjoyed it! Started with a terrific rendition of papaya salad. We asked them for spicy and they didn't hold back. The salad was not doused in dressing and soggy-sugary as it often is. Crisp, crunchy, tangy and refreshing. Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce was a side we ordered which we spooned over brown rice (nice to have that brown rice option!). Cut on the bias and plenty of leaves included. B got the pork laab (he had a great chicken laab in Siem Reap recently). He ate about 2/3 of it - loved it! My tofu lime leaves hit the spot, too. Every few bites or so, I got the hit of lime leaf (I wanted a bit more, honestly). Tofu was fried up with green beans, red pepper and lime leaf. Veggies were perfectly cooked (crisp and bright).
Fin du Monde, Pinot Noir and Squvignon Blanc brought the bill to $62 (minus $35 Groupon). We look forward to more meals to explore the menu.
765 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
I'm a huge fan of Live Alive Cafe (despite my internal eye rolling of the cafe's and menu items' name). I find it to be hugely delicious and satisfying. What I also like is that there is no attitude from the staff when you want to sub ingredients or make additions. Moreover, the vegetables are all meticulous prepared and evenly cooked. The prep must be extremely labor intensive and yet, the staff are always helpful and cheerful.
I've enjoyed the wraps I've gotten from Life Alive, and despite being Boston born and bred I manage to tolerate the effusive cheeriness of the staff. Everything is clearly really fresh, and I don't love all the flavors but that means it's just a matter of finding the dishes that I really do like (the Mystic Mountain is currently at the top of my list).
I'm signed up for Ronnarong's thai food & sherry pairing dinner and very much looking forward to it. Have been meaning to go there for a while now and it just never happens.
Even though I live around the corner from Life Alive, I quite literally couldn't care less about that place, and would be surprisedd if I ever step foot inside.
194 Middle St Apt 3R, Lowell, MA 01852