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Aug 31, 2012 08:31 PM

Please send the Washington Sq. Rod Dee a bottle of fish sauce ...

I've been disappointed with the food from the Washington Sq. Rod Dee the 2 other times I ate there but this time they outdid themselves.

Since we were literally parked outside its door and were hungry we ordered some food to take home.

It was beyond horrible and made us really mad. Easily the worst Thai I've ever tasted.

The green curry dish which was ordered extra spicy could have been fed to an infant, it was so bland. It had a faint green tinge but no curry flavor -- like strange coconut-scented dishwater. It did have a hearty amount of tofu but was barely edible.

The chicken with garlic and snow peas on rice didn't have and flavor at all. Totally unseasoned. You couldnt even taste the garlic. When you look up BLAND in the dictionary it will reference this dish. It was inedible. I hate throwing away food but I fear that's what's gonna happen.

The chicken sate was eaten only because it came with peanut sauce. It too was bland. And weirdly wet. The other sauces I ordered and paid for werent in the bag but I doubt they would have helped.

The food was disgusting and we were disgusted and obviously will never go back.

We've not been to the reopened CC location but that one was always good. The "mama" was usually in the kitchen. Hope it's as good as it was before and hasn't nosedived like the one up the street.

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  1. That sounds terrible - have not had such issues with Rod Dee Porter Square

    9 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      I haven't had that magnitude of issues with Rod Dee in Porter, but the food can be inconsistent in spice level. I fail to see why Rod Dee is highly recommended on this board. Also, their delivery service is a bad joke and parking is tough so we have pulled them from the rotation.

      I prefer The Similans in East Cambridge, which has been very consistently good (not great) and somehow can get us our food in under 30 min every time. My wife even prefers Pepper Sky in Central Square to Rod Dee.

      1. re: Gabatta

        we've tried the porter location because of all the hullabaloo on this board. also it's right next to toad, so convenient when we are there for music. it's been totally "meh" every time. i've seen asians eating dishes not on the printed/posted menu, so clearly there is that, but even the stuff we have had has been just slightly above food-court thai. we can get much better southeast asian grub in lowell, for MUCH less dough.

        we gave up on it.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          I am not a spice hound and when I have had Rod Dee's version of "drunken noodles" set at medium spicy, it's been decent enough for me and caused pain for my DW.

          Frankly, I often get the straight-up pad thai (so sue me!) and it seems much less sweet than other versions I can get in the immediate area.

        2. re: Gabatta

          Rod Dee in Porter works as a spot I can meet carless Davis-area non-CH friends for dinner and still get something decent. The tofu and low-spice options make them happy while I order something off the specials board. It's better-than-average Americanized Thai with some hidden gems and fills a niche if I'm in the area.

          Sure, their khao soi is nowhere near as good as Thai North's, but I'm happy they offer it and it's not bad. The basil smoothies are good on a hot day. They're also the only place I've found so far in the greater Boston area that makes nam kao tod (by request, which I only learned about from the buzz on this board).

          1. re: T.B.

            Nam Kao Tod - just googled that. They made that for me once as a suggestion. I could never remember what it was called. We really liked it, and I just never got around to trying to haggle with them over a dish I didn't know the name of. Good to know.

            I've found that the heavyset guy that works there is pretty good at offering up more esoteric/off-menu dishes. The women that work there tend to immediately fall back to "how about pad thai?" type of responses .... "Oh, we're out of that very thai sounding dish from the hand written specials board. would you prefer to have some very generic americanized sounding dish instead?" Granted, the names all sound thai but you kinow what I mean :)

            1. re: jgg13

              Thanks for the reminder. I just bumped an 11-year-old thread asking about nam kao tod in the greater Boston area. Now that we finally have one source, I figure there's gotta be more.

              I've generally had good luck with the staff at Rod Dee helping me remember the names of dishes both I and my friends like; for some reason their menu layout confuses me and I lose track of what's where, which is not usually a problem I have.

              1. re: T.B.

                Imy hesitation largely stems with the women that often work the counter, going back to my comment about them aggressively steering you (well, me at least) towards the more generic/Americanized fare)

              2. re: jgg13

                So I just had the nam kao tod from Rod Dee in Porter ... and it is kicking my ass.
       two glasses of milk later, my mouth is still throbbing. Really spicy to me anyway.

                What is the gelatinous meat? It's good.
                When I went to pick it up, the cashier asked if this was my first time having this dish. I answered yes, and she asked how I heard about it. I said chowhound and she giggled.

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  The meat is nam, fermented (aka sour) sausage from Isan/Issan/Isaan (transliterations vary). Spice levels also vary, usually from "perky" to "ZOMG." I really like the contrasts of flavor and texture in that dish.

        3. Maybe it's unfair of me, but for the last couple of years I've thought of Rod Dee as Americanized noodles for kids. One of my daughters would go there with her friends all the time.

          A better Thai experience in Brookline is MJ Ready International in the Arcade in Coolidge Corner. Despite the really big name, it seems to be a guy and his wife. She's Thai and he's not. They don't have a huge menu. They have (she has?) given me perhaps the hottest food I've ever had in Boston, but then I said I wanted it very spicy.

          1. I too have often wondered at all the Rod Dee love on the board, since the few times I've eaten there, I've also felt the food was no better than mall food-court Thai. I'll stick to my S&I Thai, and call it a day.

            1. The truth about Rod Dee is somewhere in the middle. When they operated out of their just outside of Coolidge Corner locale, it was pretty darn good street food. (They might of had a BU location before that, even, can't quite remember if that was them.)

              They really did grow into a sort of Thai slash Thai-American outfit. Sadly some things have lost authenticity. The Pad Thai for instance, is very Americanized. The veggie version is like ordering Buddha's Delight in a American-Chinese place with sweet rice noodles.

              They can be coaxed into delivering their former greatness, but it's a bit of work on your part.

              In Porter, I still prefer Tamarind House, it's a step up in service, very consistent, and they hit the right middle ground between authentic and catering to Americans. They cater to Americans, as opposed to totally conceding to their tastes. MC Slim JB gave them a pretty balanced review I thought.

              In Brookline, there's Dok Bua, (Haven't been in some time) and that MJ Ready International sounds very interesting, I will have to try it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tatsu

                The original was on Beacon. They'd ask you how authentic you wanted the food and much more of their clientele was Thai. But now they turn out vast quantities of pad see ew and pad thai for middle and high school kids and families with small children who only eat noodles. Even though the business is cash only, high school kids can split an order of noodles and an appetizer and be done for cheap. I don't blame the families or the kids: better to expose kids to the cuisine than to insist on it being more real. And there are more Thai places so they've moved naturally into their niche.

                Dok Bua's niche has become their specials, which are cheap and draw the poor student population.

                1. re: lergnom

                  S & I has become the only Thai we find reliable, though we are still exploring Thai North where we've had some excellent food sometimes but some Americanized thai others and we're a little puzzled about how to get to a more consistent experience. S & I doesn't seem to "cook down" for anyone. Dok Bua used to be better also, in our view, though we are very fond of the staff there, we've begun to find the food too sweet and too tame.

                  1. re: lergnom

                    Wasn't the original Rod Dee pretty much a stall inside an upstairs food court in Chinatown? I seem to remember eating there 12-13 years ago when I worked nearby at the NE Medical Center. But, I could be wrong. My memory isn't what it used to be!

                    1. re: purple bot

                      I think the one in Chinatown was "Rod Thai," but as I recall, the Coolidge Corner one was a second outpost of that restaurant (or at least had some sort of related ownership and a basically identical menu). Then came "Rod Dee II" in the Fenway, then Washington Square (Brookline) in 2008 (I think) and Porter Square in late 2010.

                      Interestingly, their website calls the Porter Square one "the original". Maybe that's part of the name of that location.

                2. I ate at Rod Dee in Washington Square a few times over the past year, and I haven't noticed any lack of flavor or spice. I have had the khao soi there a few times, which I like, and also often get the rad nah (which granted isn't spicy to begin with). I think the curries there tend to be weaker than noodles.