East-West Grille serves a plethora of pan-Asian eats from menus that spotlight Laotian and Thai cuisine. Laotian options include sausage, stews, fried rice, and spiced meats such as the larb-gai, minced grilled chicken breast bathing in lime juice and seasoned with ginger, scallions, cilantro, and bean sprouts ($9.95 for lunch; $11.95 for dinner). The mangkham salad meshes protein and greens in a tastier alternative to watering your vegetable garden with egg whites, with your choice of chicken, pork, or shrimp comingling with lettuce, herbs, nuts, tomatoes, and noodles ($7.50 for lunch; $8.95 for dinner).
Thai Place infuses authentic Thai dishes with locally sourced ingredients for a mélange of more than 100 traditional and contemporary Southeast Asian dishes. Though some may view Thai food as merely spicy, the recipes at Thai Place run the gamut from the loving, noodly arms of a sweet pad thai ($6.50/lunch, $7.50/dinner) to the tangy gastronomic fireworks of hot-basil calamari ($9.95). Wrap your mouth around Bangkok beef, an eastern barbecue amalgamate of soybean sauce and sirloin ($9.50), or ponder the savory mysteries of a hypnotic yellow curry ($6.50/lunch, $9.50/dinner).
Thai Hut's chefs ignite taste buds with a menu of traditional Thai fare, spicing seafood, duck, and beef with zesty sauces in a choice of four heat levels. Couples can warm up their palates on an appetizer of chicken satay paired with peanut sauce or the Money Bag, deep-fried parcels of prawn, chicken, corn, and peas used to pay off grumbling tummies. A pair of Thai Hut salads clears out leftover flavors with crispy vegetables and a delectable dressing of peanut sauce. A broad array of entrees encourages diners to select the ingredients and spice levels in any dish, such as letting fans of thai basil mix the dish’s eponymous herb, green beans, and bell peppers with a choice of seafood, chicken, beef, or duck. A plate of pad thai hides eggs, peanuts, and bean sprouts in a labyrinth of fried noodles, and spicy red or green curry tempers tongue-tingling heat with cool notes of coconut milk, bamboo shoots, and scales from Rhapsody in Blue. Ornate touches, such as tablecloths zigzagged with intricate patterns, bright flowers, and a rich wood bar, make for an elegant atmosphere in the dining room.
Red curry, green curry, mango curry—at Pakarang Restaurant, who's celebrating their 20th anniversary this year— the kitchen crafts nine different fragrant curries in varying levels of heat, in which chicken, beef, or seafood simmer. Specialty dishes include the bangkok beef and crispy duck. All the cuisine is artfully made, matching the casual yet modern, underwater-themed decor that includes dark-stained wood floors and mottled walls.
With recipes that call to mind the towering spires of the Khmer Empire’s antique capital, the chef at Angkor Restaurant recreates modern Cambodia’s favorite dishes. Nam yaa, the restaurant's most popular dish, is also known as medicine soup for the restorative qualities of its lemongrass, ginger, and garlic and the tradition of serving it in a tiny childproof bottle. Distinct Cambodian sauces, such as tamarind and spicy garlic, douse crispy fish, and peanut sauce tops banh hoi, whose steamed noodles are accompanied by lettuce and mint.
Thai Time's authentic menu bombards taste buds with classic Thai ingredients and recipes. Five types of curry jockey for taste-bud attention, with the sweet pineapple and corn of the yellow curry chicken juxtaposing spicy pepper flavors ($7.50 lunch, $10.95 dinner). House specialties, such as the Furious Trio, a triumvirate of pork, chicken, and beef in spicy siracha sauce ($7.95 lunch, $12.95 dinner), treat diners to the chefs' favorite dishes and inspire jealousy in the other entrees. The Boston volcano swims to the forefront of the duck dishes, towing a delectable flotilla of carrots, peas, mushrooms, and coated in tamarind sauce and burning hot magma ($8.50 lunch, $15.95 dinner).
Siam Square packs its eclectic menu with stir-fried and sautéed dishes drawn from various regions of Thailand. Super spicy tom-yum soup flavors a chicken or shrimp broth with thai herbs for a hot, welcome break from Campbell’s congressman-shaped chicken-noodle soup ($3.25). Crushed peanuts rub elbows with tofu, eggs, and meats at the pad thai's rice-noodle pad ($7.50/lunch, $8.95/dinner), and hot basil fried rice fills barren stomachs with ground chicken, peppers, and other fresh veggies ($7.50/lunch, $8.95/dinner). Vegetarian options abound at Siam Square, as sweet-and-sour veggies such as zucchini, carrots, and baby corn seamlessly synthesize with tofu ($9.50).