Tom Yum Koong's chefs build on traditional Thai recipes to load their menu with exciting and eclectic ingredients ranging from tangerines and mango to wild boar and squid. Sugar and spice join forces to season the thick sauce simmering in the black-pepper-mango curry ($10.95), a flavorful bowl of vegetables and cashews mixed with a choice of meat. A medley of seameats such as mussels and squid sizzle in the Phuket fried rice ($10.95), and the fantasy tilapia ($13.95) takes time off from reading J.R.R. Tolkien to glide out of the kitchen atop a bed of veggies simmering in chili sauce. Basil leaves join peppers, onion, and pork in a skittering dance across the skillet in the pan-fried wild-boar basil ($9.95). Fresh-fish cravings recede at the sushi bar to prevent persistent urges to trawl through exhibits at the local aquarium.
If your old method of sampling everything on a restaurant's menu tends to make bewildered enemies of everyone else in the restaurant, today's Groupon will let you curtail the thievery while still treating the palate. For $15, you get $35 worth of small-plate Thai cuisine and drinks at Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar in Somerville.
As one of the oldest cosmetology schools in the area, the Salon Schools Group has been churning out highly trained manicure mavens, visage revolutionaries, and overall bodily beautifiers for nearly eight decades. Drop by any location and let one of the up-and-coming cosmetologists stage a performance of their freshly honed skills under the supervision of an expert instructor before they matriculate to some of the finest salons in the area. Services, which vary by school location, include a cranberry bog facial from Westerville's spa menu, which cleanses and heals the skin with antioxidants and essential oils and, like any fruitful spelunking expedition, concludes with a shampoo and blow dry ($32.50). Heath's salon menu offers deluxe haircuts with a blow dry and curling-iron style ($9–$11) and cap highlights ($29–$30). Liberate upper lips and eyebrows from the tyranny of excess fuzz with a wax from Canal Winchester's spa offerings ($7 each), or sharpen your claws with the full set of sculptured nails offered on Karl Road's salon menu ($20). There are a slew of equally indulgent treatments at all seven locations. Go in for a marathon glam session before the office prom, or spread out services over multiple visits.
According to Robert Nadeau of the Boston Phoenix, the chefs at Thaitation Restaurant know when enough is enough. “You smell the garlic, but don’t taste it,” the columnist writes, going on to rave about the chefs’ willingness to forgo heavy-handed seasonings for perfectly balanced flavors.
Indeed, slight hints of coconut broth, galangal root, and lemongrass infuse the lengthy list of items on owner Ratana Chourattana’s dinner menu. But these fresh seafood stir-fries, curries, and noodles are not all that Thaitation Restaurant has to offer. The eatery ends meals on a sweet note with a large number of desserts—a feature not typical of Thailand, as Nadeau points out. Guests can dip spoons into sweets such as coconut mousse as plentiful sunlight filters through huge dining-room windows, illuminating golden walls and tables set with cloth napkins.
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.
The chefs at Dok Bua Thai Kitchen use a range of traditional ingredients to craft Thai dishes that drew attention from Boston Magazine. The writers named the eatery Best Thai in their Best of Boston 2011 piece, citing dishes such as “miang kum, an ultra-flavorful combination of dried shrimp, toasted coconut, peanuts, lime, ginger, and tamarind sauce served with spinach leaves for wrapping.” Dok Bua also earned a "very good to excellent" Zagat rating. The servers in the dining room at the eatery deliver still-steaming plates of deep-fried snapper with red-curry sauce, crispy pork with chili and basil sauce over rice, and time-tested pad thai with sautéed rice noodles, egg, and peanuts. As satisfied sighs drift through the dining room, black-sesame dumplings in ginger syrup and smooth coconut ice cream cradled in a coconut shell bring pleasant endings to feasts, unlike the discovery that papier mâchè is not a good material for building tables.