No matter what country her family was living in at the time, Longteine ?Nyep? De Monteiro?the wife of a Cambodian diplomat?always heard the same thing when she served dinner at one of her lavish parties: ?This is so good! You should open a restaurant!? It wasn't until the rise of the Khmer Rouge forced Longteine and her family to relocate to America that she began to seriously entertain the idea. Longteine finally opened The Elephant Walk in 1991, where she filled the menu with a m?lange of her favorite Cambodian and French recipes.
Since then, Longteine?s daughter Nasda and her son-in-law Gerard Lopez helped her expand The Elephant Walk to three locations. All three Elephant Walks separate their kitchens into French and Cambodian preparation lines, each staffed with chefs adept at both traditional and contemporary dishes. Each dish makes meticulous use of flavorful, wholesome ingredients such as ripe plum tomatoes, fresh tuna, Vermont goat cheese, and organic tofu. The Elephant Walk also serves up a host of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free variants.
The Elephant Walk loves to feed the mind as much as the mouth. During its regularly scheduled Cafe Science series, Brandeis professors deliver compelling lectures on a variety of topics from the Large Hadron Collider to explaining why science alone cannot turn water into chocolate milk. The restaurant has since given upwards of $200,000 to local, national, and international nonprofit organizations fighting poverty.
Cuisine Type: Indian fast food
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular offering: Nanini
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
We have taken the authentic taste of flavorful Indian food and transformed it into an quick-serve, portable format of delivery. It is self-serve and made-to-order so you don't pay for the table service or tips, which in turn results in reasonably priced, flavorful food. We have been featured in a New York Times article series about the changing tastes of American fast food, and have also been featured in the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, and Boston Phoenix.
What?s the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
"Could be the Chipotle of Indian food."
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Its a four-step process at Chutneys. First step: choose from a paratha wrap, rice bowl, or nanini. Second step: choose a vegetarian, chicken, or lamb filling, with few choices in each category. Third step: choose from fresh vegetables to top it. Fourth and final step: choose from a selection of 10 chutneys to customize your flavor.
Before diners even glance at OM’s menu, their eyes feast upon a banquet of Asian art. Colorful Thangka paintings and Buddhist statues handcrafted by more than 50 Nepalese, Tibetan, and Thai artists color the space, and intricate Newar carvings frame the walls and doorways. Upon sitting at one of the bare, rectangular tables, patrons exchange pleasantries with their chairs and read through a menu reflective of the art that surrounds them. For instance, small plates of spicy edamame and veggie spring rolls join full entrees of shrimp pad thai or salmon wrapped in tempura nori. An intricate drink list includes the mandarin kaze (orange vodka spiked with sichuan peppercorn) and the Bangkok julep (a blend of bourbon, elderflower, and mint).
Beneath the dining room, a downstairs lounge hosts a diverse lineup of events. Salsa lessons make use of the dance floor, and vinyl parties enable attendees to trade, sell, or just play their records. DJs take over the turntables on Saturday nights, and a cover band re-creates classic R & B tunes every Tuesday.
The Maharaja's chefs rely on recipes from an era when art and cooking received the royal patronage of great Mughal emperors. Compiled over three generations of research, the menu of traditional Indian cuisine has been modernized to pair with a lavish dining space, that, according to the The Boston Foodie, "is an elegant room floating above Harvard Square with all of the amenities of a perfect dining experience." Ornately detailed wooden chairs surround The Maharaja's sturdy tables, and a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooks the weekly hopscotch tournaments in Harvard Square. Furthermore, a collection of statues—which took three attempts to import from India—watch over the restaurant's guests.
Garlic naan emanates nostril-piquing aromas of fresh garlic and coriander as chefs roast cubes of lamb and bone-in chicken in a tandoor oven that burns hotter than a feverish dragon. Sidestepping meats entirely, the house-made paneer, eggplant, and chickpeas bump elbows with green peas, raisins, and sautéed cashews. Servings of kulfi faluda can sate sweet teeth with scoops of pistachio-flavored ice cream and sweet noodles.
Nubar radiates an assured air that comes from the stewardship of three generations of the Guleserian family. Their contemporary approach to classic cuisine manifests itself in seasonal dishes that have included roasted local haddock with saffron and duck breast with cherries and bok choy. Chefs use ingredients from local farms, fisheries, and bakeries to enhance their creations and cut down on the food's jet lag. Nubar's rooftop garden also enriches warm-weather fare with fresh-picked herbs and vegetables.
Set within the confines of the auspicious Sheraton Commander Hotel, Nubar wraps its guests in sleek lines and soothing hues of brown. Behind a bar made entirely of butter-yellow honey onyx, bartenders shake and stir artisanal spirits into classic or modern cocktails. With a cocktail, local beer, or wine glass in hand, patrons can recline on leather ottomans and admire the linear fireplace that separates the lounge from the dining room. Soft light cascades from wide cylindrical lamps and minimalist candelabras that stretch up the wall.
A 40-foot mahogany bar dominates the space at The Spirit Bar, allowing bartenders to slide any of the 50 available brews to patrons while they watch up to eight different games on 12 televisions, including seven 42-inch plasma screens. The bar's year-round premium sports packages keep the apple-red walls echoing with the sounds of professional baseball, hockey, or college football, and it hosts viewings of every college-basketball tournament game and pay-per-view ultimate-fighting event. Dartboards and weekly pub-trivia nights help keep patrons occupied in between athletic broadcasts.
Even the menu strives for an inclusive neighborhood feel, featuring an eclectic combination of international and regional comfort foods. The cooks slather wings with one of 17 different sauces—such as chipotle-bourbon barbecue, caribbean jerk, or garlic and parmesan—and they hand-form each Angus-beef burger patty. Fried fish 'n' chips evoke the menu of a transatlantic pub, and nachos with homemade salsa and guacamole recall flavors from south of the international date line.