The French occupation of Cambodia spawned numerous cultural fusions, from French language in the school system to Cambodian elephants penning vast manuscripts about ennui. Enjoy the culinary side of this cultural equation with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Cambodian and French cuisine at The Elephant Walk. Choose from The Elephant Walk's three locations:
• 900 Beacon Street in Boston
• 2067 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge
• 663 Main Street in Waltham
Under the guidance of Cambodian-born founding chef, Longteine de Monteiro, The Elephant Walk fuses French and Cambodian cuisine in the elegant interiors of its three local restaurants. The bicultural menus, which differ slightly by location, unveil an abundance of traditional Cambodian entrees and classic French fare. In the traditional loc lac, sautéed, cubed beef tenderloin rests under a caramelized blanket of black pepper, garlic, and mushroom soy ($18.50, and the French-style flambéed shrimp of the croustillants aux poires ($15.95) cling to the tops of crispy wontons like stranded climbers gripping the backs of giant rescue eagles. The Crevettes Amrita sautées shrimp in a light, sweet satay sauce made with a dizzying blend of coriander, cumin, cardamom, peanuts, star anise, and lemongrass ($17.95). Finish feasting with the sweet fermented black rice of t'paeh ($8), the second-most traditional Cambodian dessert after birthday cakes baked in the size and shape of Angkor Wat.
The Elephant Walk
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 mélange 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.