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Aug 8, 2012 02:16 PM

Ethnic food AND cocktails - an impossible dream?

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. 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

      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

        Cuchi cuchi is neither ethnic nor good.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          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

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

          1. re: mkfisher

            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

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

              1. re: StriperGuy

                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

                  "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

                    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. 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

            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

              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. 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

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

              7 Replies
              1. re: newhound

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

                1. re: nsenada

                  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

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

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        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: StriperGuy

                            What, you weren't serious?, I know better than that from you, Striper!

              2. 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.