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Near or At Natick Mall

I regularly meet friends at Natick Mall as a "halfway" spot given our respective locations - any suggestions on the best place to eat either here or very close to here (5-10 min drive max)? I heard about Nordstrom Bistro - any other suggestions? I have eaten at Cheesecake Factory (bleh), Met Bar (horribly slow servce) both at the mall. The friends don't really care for Szechuan cuisine so the popular places frequently cited are out. Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. Oga's Sushi, on Route 9, supposed to be very good.

    1. What about Sel de la Terre in the mall? 5 - 10 minutes drive from the mall does not get you very far at all. I'd suggest Oga Sushi, a bit east of the mall in a strip mall on Rt 9 Westbound.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kat

        I think these are your two best bets. Sel de la Terre is always solid, and Oga's is probably my favorite sushi restaurant (other than Oishii). If there's a bunch of you, try getting one of the private tables where you have to take your shoes off, and if you're looking to splurge a little, they do a great omakase.

        1. re: calvnhobs6

          The last time I was at Sel de la Terre in Natick it was amazingly awful. I wrote a letter to the manager rather than a scathing review here, but I wouldn't recommend it at all.

      2. Legal Seafood Framingham (less than a mile from the mall)
        Joe's in Shopper's World isn't terrible and certainly far better than Cheesecake. Ditto for Papa Razzi in Framingham. Basically, little beyond chains. But local chains! LOL. How sad.

        1. My mom lives near the mall and likes to meet friends at Zitis, a little homemade Italian restaurant on the Natick Golf Course. Go up Speen street north about a half mile up on the right. She likes California Pizza Kitchen and Nordstroms and British Beer Company, up rt9 toward Framin. a couple minutes. Zaftig across the street is good for some deli stuff. Theres a Maragaritas at Rte 9 and 30 but dont know how it is. I like Dolphin for fish, fireplace and tablecloths at good price but its downtown natick. Theres a new SkyBokx Sports and Gastropub across the street with good reviews at Yelp but havent been yet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: chompie

            Thank you Chompie - very intrigued by Zitis and I may indeed try this next!

          2. On Sundays Lotus Flower does a great dim sum / Chinese buffet. ( a better than typical americanized chinese food buffet on weekdays and some eves) I have not been in ages but John Harvards used to be ok for pub food,i used to like their meatloaf/potatoes , pot pies, fish/chips...

            2 Replies
            1. re: hargau

              +1 on John Harvard's. It's fairly respectable pub food.

              1. re: mkfisher

                If only the beer was just as respectable... :-)

            2. Most of the places I would have suggested have been mentioned, so let me just offer seconds for Sel de La Terre, Legal, Zaftig, and John Harvard

              There is also a decent Indian place,called Minerva, which is across route 9 and not far from Zaftig's.

              1. Tenichi in the old Skipjack's/Legals spot has hot pot, dim sum and other Chinese. We enjoyed it the one time we went.

                1. how about extending your range and hitting Sichuan Gourmet?

                  1. I work in that area and am sadly all too familiar with the options.

                    Margaritas is always crowded and loud.Service can be really slow/non-existent at both John Harvard's and British Beer Company; I prefer Paparazzi but have also had odd service in the bar area.

                    I have not yet tried The Pantry, at the VERVE-Crown Plaza hotel. Looks better than the alternatives and am (moderately) looking forward to trying it.

                    1. I'll put in a second plug for Legal Seafood. Some folks like it, some don't but as an ex-Cape Codder, I find it a good value. I ate at the one on Rte 9 in Oct (you can guess what I had!), and that and 2 glasses of wine was wonderful.

                      1. Thank you all for the quick replies. This is really helpful! There were many mentioned not on my radar screen. I will report back on what I decide to do for our next outing!