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Ethnic food AND cocktails - an impossible dream?

hanchie3 Aug 8, 2012 02:16 PM

Help! I know where to get tasty ethnic food in the Central/Harvard area and I know where to get good cocktails, but I don't know restaurants that serve both! Are there good Thai, Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, etc spots with cocktail programs?

My friend and I want to go out for a fun night of yummy food and drinks in the area and I need your help picking a good choice.

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  1. hotoynoodle Aug 8, 2012 05:31 PM

    om has a good cocktail program, but i can't speak about the recent food, with their kitchen in flux.

    9 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      Luther Aug 8, 2012 07:09 PM

      You may or may not consider Cuchi Cuchi to be "ethnic." Also, Moksa. If the drinks are a priority over dependable food.

      1. re: Luther
        StriperGuy Aug 9, 2012 10:22 AM

        Cuchi cuchi is neither ethnic nor good.

        1. re: StriperGuy
          gini Aug 16, 2012 09:51 AM

          Your issue is that you're not looking deeply enough into the sparkly chokers of the waitstaff. Once you do, you will be hypnotized, as though in a dream, and start believing that their small plates are from heaven.

          Alternatively, you could just mainline their muddled drinks and then drunkenly stumble through their menu.


        2. re: Luther
          mkfisher Aug 9, 2012 10:53 AM

          Moksa is actually a decent option assuming Noon is behind the bar.

          1. re: mkfisher
            StriperGuy Aug 9, 2012 11:40 AM

            As they just lost their chef, the food was middling before her departure, and I find their cocktail list downright silly, not sure I would recommend Moksa.

            1. re: StriperGuy
              Snowflake Aug 9, 2012 11:45 AM

              That explains the recent slaughter of the menu. I have found the food to be unreliable and bland.

              1. re: StriperGuy
                mkfisher Aug 9, 2012 11:48 AM

                That's why I said it was a decent option. It's by no means perfect. Also, are we sure Patricia Yeo was that big of a loss in the first place? And yes, the cocktails are somewhat silly, but some are quite good.

                1. re: mkfisher
                  StriperGuy Aug 9, 2012 12:21 PM

                  "are we sure Patricia Yeo was that big of a loss in the first place?"
                  HAH! True, true!

                  What cocktails did you like? I only tried one.

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    mkfisher Aug 9, 2012 12:36 PM

                    The Tokyo Chic was excellent. I also really liked the Confucius. I had both at the bar when Noon was working. When she wasn't there, I've stuck to beer.

        3. p
          purrformer Aug 8, 2012 06:40 PM

          If you insist on the combination of cocktails and Asian food, the closest (but not necessarily the best) place is probably the P.F. Chang's in the Cambridgeside Galleria. They have an Asian Pear Mojito and some other interesting Asian-influenced drinks.

          Venture a little further away . . . to Brookline, for example. . . and you can get some of Boston's best sushi along with a fine selection of sake and cocktails.

          2 Replies
          1. re: purrformer
            teezeetoo Aug 8, 2012 06:58 PM

            Oishi has excellent japanese food and a fine bar. I imagine Myers and Chang has a good bar as well though I've only been for lunch and hold the minority view that the food is vastly overhyped. Golden Temple has an excellent bar - the verdict on the food tends to vote overpriced American Chinese. I actually quite like their americanized chinese food and find the quality very good but, again, that would be a minority view on this board.

            1. re: teezeetoo
              MC Slim JB Aug 8, 2012 08:31 PM

              I'm a fan of the food at Myers and Chang, but tend to drink beer or sake there. They only have a beer / wine / cordial license, and don't squeeze out of that straitjacket with cocktails quite as successfully as some places. I think the long drinks work best on that list.

              In the 'burbs, Sichuan Garden in N. Woburn has a solid old-school (pre craft revival) program with excellent traditional Sichuan food.


          2. barleywino Aug 8, 2012 11:18 PM

            If you're willing to cross the river to Chinatown, Shojo has cocktails and pan Asian food, although what I've tried so far (food and drink) tends towards the sweet side.

            1 Reply
            1. re: barleywino
              barleywino Aug 9, 2012 07:44 PM

              A couple dishes that exceeded my expectations at Shojo were roasted clams w/ a summer corn tomato salad and watercress puree, and braised pork ribs in a garlicky sauce w/ mashed taro and sauteed spinach, more meat-and-potatoes comfort food than your typical pan Asian fare. The baby pig steamed buns have improved since the first time I tried them. Hope to see what else this chef can do

            2. n
              newhound Aug 9, 2012 10:43 AM

              Clearly, the Hong Kong should be your destination...

              7 Replies
              1. re: newhound
                nsenada Aug 9, 2012 11:23 AM

                Yes - I heartily endorse their "Scorpion Bowl," which is made from house-opened pineapple juice, and artisanally-blended liquors.

                1. re: nsenada
                  barleywino Aug 9, 2012 11:29 AM

                  Hopefully the juice is from concentrate, in a can, with high fructose corn syrup, rather than that nasty fresh stuff. Also those bright red cherries, I hope

                  1. re: barleywino
                    Science Chick Aug 9, 2012 11:40 AM

                    I prefer the vodka collins made with Cossack brand vodka and day-glo collins mix!

                    1. re: Science Chick
                      StriperGuy Aug 9, 2012 12:21 PM

                      LUV Cossack vodka.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        Science Chick Aug 9, 2012 12:22 PM

                        unfortunately, my head and stomach have a sorry tale to tell, where Cossack is concerned.....maybe it's that charcoal and petroleum aftertaste.....

                        1. re: Science Chick
                          StriperGuy Aug 9, 2012 05:49 PM

                          Joking, that stuff is evil!

                          1. re: StriperGuy
                            Science Chick Aug 10, 2012 10:13 AM

                            What, you weren't serious? heheheh.......no, I know better than that from you, Striper!

              2. barleywino Aug 9, 2012 12:50 PM

                Pigalle recently added a "Malaysian" appetizer plate to their bar menu, including some very juicy smoked pork ribs, wings, sticky rice, pea vines, and a spicy nuoc cham. Only marginally ethnic, but their drinks are good. There is also some sort of Kung pao appetizer which I haven't tried.

                1. p
                  phatchris Aug 9, 2012 02:59 PM

                  What about Myung Dong 1st Ave in Allston? I have no clue if its any good, but seems very popular with young Koreans.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: phatchris
                    MC Slim JB Aug 9, 2012 03:53 PM

                    MD1A doesn't do much in the way of cocktails; its drinks list emphasizes soju, sake and beer, plus a couple of cocktails that mix soju, fruit juice, and sweet cordials.


                    1. re: phatchris
                      StriperGuy Aug 9, 2012 05:49 PM

                      Great booze, no cocktails that I remember.

                    2. Dave MP Aug 13, 2012 03:48 PM

                      Both of these are out of the OP's requested area, but I thought I'd mention them anyway:

                      FuLoon in Malden - Lots of interesting Chinese dishes, and a full bar. Much better food than the Hong Kong, in my opinion.

                      Orinoco in South End and Brookline Village - I once had a really good passion fruit mojito, and the food (Venezuelan) is pretty good.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Dave MP
                        StriperGuy Aug 13, 2012 09:33 PM


                      2. t
                        total13 Aug 15, 2012 05:58 AM

                        What about Khao Sarn in Cool. Corner? Or Van Shabu & Bar in Dorchester?

                        1. gini Aug 16, 2012 09:54 AM

                          East by Northeast has a very small, but well crafted, cocktail menu. I'm a very big fan of their food.

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