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Best Pad Thai in Greater Boston?

aregularjoe Feb 15, 2013 07:37 AM

I remember back in the day when Bangkok Cuisine was the only Thai restaurant in Boston they made the most marvelous Pad Thai. Ever since they went out of business, I have been looking for a new favorite, but to no avail.

Where is your favorite Pad Thai served today? Why do you think it's good?

  1. t
    Taralli Feb 15, 2013 07:42 AM

    1st, let us know who you've crossed off your list.

    1. n
      nasilemak Feb 15, 2013 07:52 AM

      Haven't been to the King and I on Beacon Hill for awhile but have always enjoyed their version.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nasilemak
        StriperGuy Feb 15, 2013 10:38 AM

        Yah I always like theirs.

        1. re: nasilemak
          ebaba Feb 15, 2013 02:03 PM

          He's no expert on Thai food but my husband loved the King & I pad Thai and ate it once a week for 3 years. Then we moved to the South End and he was in a funk about not having it so close -- tried House of Siam on Tremont and didn't look back. He still says it's the best and this compared to Rod Dee Porter and Fenway.

        2. MABMAQ Feb 15, 2013 08:27 AM

          s & i thai on brighton ave in allston -
          hands down the basil pad thai - spicy fresh loaded with fried basil and chil sauce - tons of chicken and shrimp.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MABMAQ
            MC Slim JB Feb 15, 2013 08:42 AM

            I can't say I'm a pad thai connoisseur, as I generally avoid it. Most versions here tend to be overly sweet, bland, devoid of fish sauce, lacking any hint of tamarind sourness, no fresh herbs: Westernized junk. That said, I have had the version MAMBAQ is raving about at S&I, and I have to agree. That's a dish I would happily get again. That place kills it pretty much all around.


            1. re: MC Slim JB
              marais Feb 16, 2013 03:43 PM

              BTW Slim, my hack for gutless pad thai is usually to order some fish sauce on the side to drizzle over ad lib. That extra punch sure helps.

              1. re: marais
                River19 Feb 17, 2013 05:18 AM

                I have done the same with PT, but I also order some lime wedges on the side if they don't provide them.

            2. re: MABMAQ
              CambridgeFoodie Feb 18, 2013 11:02 AM

              Many thanks for this S&I recommendation - I tried the basil pad thai today and it was indeed fantastic!

              1. re: CambridgeFoodie
                lossless Feb 21, 2013 02:11 PM

                Seconding this. The Tom Yum soup was good too - good flavor, lots of mushrooms.

            3. l
              lergnom Feb 15, 2013 09:03 AM

              My current favorite is from a tiny storefront inside the Arcade in Coolidge Corner, Brookline, called MJ Ready. I particularly like the Tom Yum version. The food is home-y. I don't know if that's accurate since I'm not Thai but the place consists of a guy at the counter and I believe his wife cooking.

              2 Replies
              1. re: lergnom
                teezeetoo Feb 15, 2013 09:11 AM

                Count my in on the S & I bandwagon. Most of what I've eaten there is worthy.

                1. re: teezeetoo
                  kimfair1 Feb 15, 2013 10:30 AM

                  I wasn't impressed by the country style pad thai at S&I for many of the reasons that MC Slim has listed, but haven't tried the basil pad thai. Next time I'll try that one. Everything else I've had from there rocks, though.

              2. r
                River19 Feb 15, 2013 11:54 AM

                I don't normally order Pad Thai since gravitating away from the PTO group (Pad Thai Only) about 15 years ago, but I remember the King & I being decent back in the day.

                That being said I went there a couple years ago and found their food to be very bland compared to what I have been eating elsewhere. My wife ordered their Pad Thai and it was decent and as I remembered it, but to my tastes today it was lacking in sourness and overall "bang" factor.

                I agree with the overall observation around how most PTs tend to be overly sweet and lack the real flavor profiles of a truely awesome PT. After speaking with two owners of Thai restaurants they both mentioned that since PT is a gateway drug to Thai cuisine they tend to bend the flavor profile to a more western taste. Kinda the General Gau's of Thai.

                I enjoy occasionally ordering certain dishes "Thai Hot" and not "Round eye hot" and it changes the experience entirely. Certain dishes just become a wall of heat and lose the nuances of the fresh herbs, citrus, etc.

                1. MABMAQ Feb 15, 2013 01:27 PM

                  just had to go over and pick up some basil pad thai after all this talk ..... mmmm !

                  1. mcel215 Feb 16, 2013 03:18 AM

                    Don't know where you live or work, but my friends love the Pad Thai at Pho1 in Woburn. I, on the other hand am addicted to their Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice with pork.


                    1. BostonZest Feb 16, 2013 04:30 AM

                      Pad Thai Cafe on Boylston Street near Hemenway is my favorite but you have to ask them to prepare it "Thai style."


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: BostonZest
                        trillen Feb 21, 2013 03:50 PM

                        I live really close to there and stop in to Pad Thai Cafe quite often. I've never had the special version pad thai you're mentioning but the regular pad thai is decent. My favorite dish there is actually the tom yum noodle soup with pork. It's addicting! Be sure to get the noodle soup version which for some reason is completely different than the plain version. So good.


                      2. steinpilz Feb 16, 2013 10:00 AM

                        My favorite for some time has been duck Pad Thai Bangkok Style (spicy) with crunchy noodles - at Coconut Cafe on Beacon Street in Newton Centre.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: steinpilz
                          MC Slim JB Feb 16, 2013 10:39 AM

                          How is that place in general? Never noticed it till my recent visits to Sycamore next door.


                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                            steinpilz Feb 17, 2013 08:58 AM

                            I most often ordered Pad Thai but have also tried the appetizers, salads, and main Thai dishes. I didn't get the stir fried or curries as I can make them easily myself.

                            A variation on the Pad Thai that they would make for me, and I'd recommend, added basil leaves.

                            It was my favorite take out in Newton Centre, I lived nearby and so didn't eat there but it's pleasant inside, popular, and run by nice people.

                          2. re: steinpilz
                            Bob Dobalina Feb 18, 2013 04:58 PM

                            Totally forgot about that place - used to order he duck pad Thai all the time about 10 years ago. Very generous portion iirc.

                          3. p
                            Parsnipity Feb 23, 2013 07:31 AM

                            Would love to see some replies from the Camberville side of the river.

                            Re: River19- I crossed pad thai off my list as "for amateurs" for a few years, but have come full circle and gravitated back to it because done well, it's delicious.

                            A few that disappoint- Rod Dee (Porter), Lemon Thai, Sweet Ginger (Union Square), Sugar & Spice (Cambridge).

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Parsnipity
                              Bob Dobalina Feb 23, 2013 09:40 AM

                              "A few that disappoint" = basically all of the Thai places on the Cambridge side. (I agree with you).

                              1. re: Parsnipity
                                River19 Feb 24, 2013 05:32 PM

                                I agree with you.....I was just making fun of the PTOs and it really is a gateway drug to the rest of the Thai menu.

                                If done well, it is a great dish.....

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