The chefs at Bamboo Thai Restaurant developed a menu that gives diners complete control over their gustatory experience, from the level of spiciness to the type of noodles accompanying their dish. Five distinct curries—red, green, yellow, panang, and massaman—pair with the guest's selection of one of nine proteins and one of 10 rice or noodle options, including udon, buckwheat, and vermicelli, resulting in more dinner options than a socialite's rolodex. The noodle selection process crops up again when ordering one of the six meal-in-a-bowl soups, and five pad thai options dare taste buds to pick from vegetables, chicken, shrimp, or a combination of all three, with rice or crispy egg noodles. To complement spicy bites, a lengthy list of Thai, Japanese, and American beers stands next to warm and draft sakes.
Boston Casting offers courses for aspiring child, teen, and adult actors at its Media Performance Institute. Your Groupon can be used toward classes such as Beginner Acting/Improv for Adults, Acting for Teens, Musical Theater, or any of the other classes listed to the right. Acting for the Camera will teach you how to act naturally in front of the most terrifying piece of machinery outside of a confrontational killer robot. In Acting for Film, you'll learn how to project your voice in its proper 16:9 aspect ratio. And after a session of Acting for Commercials, your teeth will begin to twinkle automatically every time you hold something up and smile. For a truly in-depth exploration of the acting process, try the Acting for the Camera course, which runs until one of its participants says "And… scene." Classes are taught by some of New England's most experienced teachers and performers.
Like Mr. Rogers dressed in a banana-yellow zoot suit, American Craft's menu gives comfy American fare a tasty artisanal twist. Each of its appetizers ($8–$11) conceals a variety of inspired tastes, from the butternut-squash risotto to the pulled-duck hash with root veggies. Fresh salads and a trifecta of soups (du jour, oven-roasted tomato, and onion) will appease dainty diners, though they also go really well with a build-your-own burger of beef, turkey, or veggie served on a hi-rise challah roll with hand-cut fries or mixed greens. Once all the palate's previews have played, it's time for the main movie: American Craft's heartier plates include a grilled flat-iron steak au poivre with grilled asparagus and gorgonzola mashed potatoes, a veggie-friendly grilled tofu steak with broccoli rabe, and stout-braised short ribs with whipped potatoes. Entrees range between $14 and $24, and sandwiches are $9 to $12.
The red-orange glow of smoldering coals only enhances the cozy, inviting vibe of Sheesha Lounge, a local hangout that recently earned a spot on CBS Boston's list of Allston’s Best Hookah Bars. It's not hard to find something to love about this place, whether it's the exposed brickwork and padded, pillow-lined banquettes or the fact that the lounge stays open as late as 2 a.m. The biggest draw, however, has to be the 35 different flavors of tobacco, which include rose, jasmine, vanilla, mint, and mountain spring water. As the fragrant, cloud-like wisps of smoke mingle in the air, guests can dine on sweet snacks that include cheesecake and baklava.
The Shanghai Social Club fashioned to conjure a classic 1920s speakeasy, but with a twist—in addition to bootleg whiskey and old-fashioneds, you can order fishbowl-sized drinks, which come filled with rum, honey, and exotic fruit juices. It's just one of the ways this stylish Asian restaurant melds old-fashioned sophistication with a carefree, tiki-bar vibe, an atmosphere that helped Zagat named it one of the hottest restaurants in Boston.
The restaurant's menu draws inspiration from traditional dinner entrees and streetside vendors in Shanghai. Bite into a steamed bun filled with gingery pork belly or crispy chicken skin, or dig into steaming noodles topped with Peking duck. Specialty dishes range from savory Mongolian beef to sweet honey shrimp. Meanwhile, the low-key decor—low lights, Buddhist statues, and colorful cushions—does little to distract from the cuisine.