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So depressed ---East Asia is GONE

twentyoystahs Jul 18, 2012 06:05 PM

I haven't been this upset about a restaurant closing in a long time...if, in fact, ever. If this has been discussed on another thread, I apologize, though a quick search didn't yield anything.

I live in the south end so don't make it to that side of the river often, but whenever I do, I make sure to plan an East Asia trip, Their kung pao chicken was always one of my favorites, a deliciious sauce perfectly spiced with crunchy fresh vegetables, it was always consistently GOOD.
This week I found myself over there around lunchtime and called, only to have the number ring and ring and ring --no one picked up. Thought it was odd, but thought maybe, just maybe something was up with the phone. Then tonight...again....in the area....called and the same thing happened...endless ringing but no picking up and/or message. I was hoping against hope maybe they'd taken a summer vacation, but....drove by just to see...and.....there was a handwritten sign in the door...with a new name (which i don't remember) and something like "come back for our noodles or..." whatever..i honestly don't remember. I couldn't believe my worst suspicions had been confirmed. GONE.

Not sure if any of you guys know about this already (or know about the new place moving in) I can only assume the owners were simply done and sold the business --can't imagine business wasn't good as it was such a great spot for takeout. No idea, but feel free to shed some light if you know. Not that it'll make me feel any better...but still.

Figured only hounds would be able to truly commiserate w me...


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  1. maillard RE: twentyoystahs Jul 18, 2012 08:03 PM

    Oh, that is really sad. They had the best fried rice that I'd found in the area by far. I'm not super surprised, though. I can't remember it ever being anywhere near full when I was there (and they did not have many tables to fill) and also rarely saw anyone else getting takeout. Still, definitely a loss for the area.

    5 Replies
    1. re: maillard
      twentyoystahs RE: maillard Jul 19, 2012 08:34 AM

      I think they had a really good takeout business. No doubt they didn't get many sit-down folks as the ambiance wasn't exactly great...but they've been around for YEARS and my guess is they would have gone out of business years ago if they weren't getting enough customers....i think they were getting older and perhaps just decided to sell.
      I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm just so sad to see them gone. I used to have no problem driving an hour round trip to grab an order of kung pao chicken.....best stuff in the world :(

      1. re: twentyoystahs
        chez_shai RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 10:20 AM

        Those were my two favorite items! Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice.

        I stopped by on Monday and the sign said "Sorry we are on vacation until mid August." The place was a bit of a mess inside but I was holding out hope. : ( Are you totally sure they're closed?

        1. re: chez_shai
          twentyoystahs RE: chez_shai Jul 19, 2012 03:08 PM

          We stopped by last night --Wednesday --there was a sign like that taped on the middle of the door but it said something like "Opening Soon..[some wacky restaurant name, with an asian twist]"

          1. re: twentyoystahs
            chez_shai RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 05:44 PM

            Sorry to doubt you. I just didn't want to believe it. : /

            1. re: twentyoystahs
              FoodDabbler RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 06:56 PM

              "[some wacky restaurant name, with an asian twist]" is such an edgy name for a restaurant. I, for one, can't wait for it to open.

      2. t
        twinky101 RE: twentyoystahs Jul 18, 2012 09:39 PM

        are we talking about that place in central sq with all those young weekend bands play?

        2 Replies
        1. re: twinky101
          maillard RE: twinky101 Jul 19, 2012 04:58 AM

          No, the tiny place in Powderhouse Sq with really good kung pao chicken and fried rice.

          1. re: maillard
            twinky101 RE: maillard Jul 19, 2012 08:19 PM

            Oh right--that was indeed good

        2. Boston_Otter RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 05:00 AM

          They had the best homemade tofu in the area.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Boston_Otter
            Luther RE: Boston_Otter Jul 19, 2012 06:04 AM

            Homemade tofu? Like they had a vat of boiling soy beans in the back?

            1. re: Luther
              Boston_Otter RE: Luther Jul 19, 2012 08:11 AM

              I'm not sure where they got their tofu, but the menu called it "homemade" and the lady on the phone said it was "homemade" when I ordered it. It was firm tofu that had many, many layers, as if it'd been folded many times, and had a great chewiness.

          2. hungrybruno RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 05:35 AM

            Noooooo! I just started a thread a few weeks ago about how good their tofu was! This is incredibly depressing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hungrybruno
              Dave MP RE: hungrybruno Jul 19, 2012 09:56 AM

              It was just featured in Best of Chowhound as well. http://www.chow.com/digest/119608/tof...

            2. corduroy RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 10:21 AM

              We lived a few houses down when I was at Tufts. Great food and a great loss to the area. Sad news.

              1. digga RE: twentyoystahs Jul 19, 2012 05:26 PM

                Awww ...shit....I JUST posted to the recent East Asia thread and even credited you, twentyoystahs, as the catalyst for us to try this place out when we lived in Somerville. I don't know why, but the mods deleted the reference to you from my post (WHY?). We haven't been back in a couple of years. I am so bummed to hear this news. Should they re-open, we will make the trip out to Powderhouse for the the yummy housemade tofu and all the greatest hits.

                2 Replies
                1. re: digga
                  enhF94 RE: digga Jul 19, 2012 06:45 PM

                  mods edit posts? I thought they just bahleeted wholesale or left it untouched.

                  (yes, mods, feel free to delete. totally off topic.)

                  1. re: digga
                    The Chowhound Team RE: digga Jul 19, 2012 06:45 PM

                    We never edit a post without a poster's permission. Assuming you're referring to this post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8560..., we absolutely did not edit anything out of it.

                  2. Aromatherapy RE: twentyoystahs Jul 21, 2012 07:24 AM

                    Posted on the Davis LiveJournal: "A sign at 868 Broadway (Powder House Square), long home to East Asia, announces that Doo Wee & Rice is coming with gourmet modern rice plates, Chinese "burgers," and fresh Vietnamese salads. "

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Aromatherapy
                      Luther RE: Aromatherapy Jul 21, 2012 11:02 AM


                      1. re: Luther
                        maillard RE: Luther Jul 21, 2012 01:50 PM

                        Huh. That looks a little better than I expected from Aromatherapy's description. Still, if East Asia has to leave, I wish it would be replaced by a vietnamese place. I would love having vietnamese nearby.

                        1. re: Luther
                          Bob Dobalina RE: Luther Jul 26, 2012 10:15 AM

                          Also this - http://www.facebook.com/DooWeeAndRice

                          1. re: Bob Dobalina
                            Luther RE: Bob Dobalina Jul 27, 2012 03:08 AM

                            Hmm, he seems to be preparing to sell a truck-halal-style "chicken and rice" plate. Let's hope it's better than the product sold by the Chicken & Rice Guys truck downtown, that stuff is a pale imitation of the 53rd & 6th product.

                      2. p
                        Parsnipity RE: twentyoystahs Jul 22, 2012 11:08 AM

                        I loved East Asia's tofu, but I posted years ago agreeing with a downhill-alert thread. Every other dish I'd had there in recent years was really poor. A Pad thai specifically stands out in memory with a sweet, watery puddle of sauce on the bottom. The owners were super-nice, but the food is no loss in my opinion.

                        1. c
                          cpkostos RE: twentyoystahs Jul 26, 2012 10:03 AM

                          Let me try and clear up some of the comments about the East Asia restaurant at powder House Square in somerville. As the owner of Powder House Square, East Asia had been my tenants for nearly 15 years. My relationship with the whole family was wonderful (not to mention I was one of their loyal customers). They sold the business because of health reasons. Mrs. Leung became ill and was no longer able manage the kitchen the way she wanted. They were presented numerous awards from most local newspapers and magazines. They are a remarkable family and will be sadly missed in West Somerville and Tufts University. The good news is I've replaced them with a young innovative recent graduate of the Cordon Bleau Institute of Culinary Arts. He will be presenting his version of his native Vietnamese and Asian fusion cooking. He will be introducing some interesting creative combinations that the community hasn't seen anywhere else. Doowee and Rice should be open around Labor day. I hope made the right decision. It's not always easy to pick tenants with no track record but I placed Steve's Ice Cream and Bertucci's in their first locations.......the rest is history!!!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: cpkostos
                            Boston_Otter RE: cpkostos Jul 26, 2012 10:11 AM

                            Thanks so much for clearing things up -- their sudden closure surprised a lot of regular customers. I'll miss East Asia but I'll look forward to seeing what Doowee can do!

                            1. re: cpkostos
                              digga RE: cpkostos Jul 27, 2012 05:42 AM

                              Thanks for the update. I hope the best for Mrs. Leung and her family. I remember fondly how she held herself in her restaurant - always well-dressed and clearly proud of her little place and the food. I hope they known that they are missed by many,

                              I am looking forward to trying Doowee!

                              1. re: digga
                                nickls RE: digga Jul 27, 2012 08:13 AM

                                Funny name for a restaurant. I'm guessing Doo Wee is related to the name of the chef, rice is for rice plates, and then of course you get a Red Sox reference when you put them together (Dwight Evans and Jim Rice).

                                The pictures of the food looked like they could be interesting, and there was something about making his own hot sauces.

                                1. re: nickls
                                  Boston_Otter RE: nickls Jul 27, 2012 10:19 AM

                                  I believe the chef/owner's name is Duy, pronounced "DooWee" more or less :)

                                  1. re: nickls
                                    digga RE: nickls Jul 27, 2012 10:31 AM

                                    I laughed out just now! That is hilarious!!! Dewey and Rice, together in the outfield again! For this devout fan, all the more reason to check this place out!

                                    1. re: nickls
                                      enhF94 RE: nickls Aug 5, 2012 04:31 AM

                                      I'm so glad you explained.

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