Brown Sugar Cafe – My Thai

1033 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

www.brownsugarcafe.com (617) 787.4242

*On Commonwealth Ave, after Babcock St and before Packards Corner

Seth & Ren, +2 guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Sparkling wine
  • Singha beer x3
  • –Plates–
  • Chicken Lollipops: batter fried de-boned chicken wings w/ seasoned ground shrimp, chicken and mushroom stuffing
  • Brown Sugar Spareribs
  • Fresh Rolls w/ House Special Turnip sauce
  • Bird of Paradise: salmon, shrimp, sea scallops, squid, mussels and vegetables in hot & sour broth spiced w/ exotic lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil
  • Roast Duck Curry: honey roasted duck in delicious red curry with pineapple chunks, tomatoes, peppers and basil leaves
  • Brown Sugar Duck: glazed with chef’s tangy sauce
  • Pad Thai w/ Duck
  • (I think we got a lot of duck in this one…)
  • –Desserts–
  • Fried Espresso Ice cream
  • $135.52 w/tax ($29.50 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $15-25 w/ Drinks: $20-40

Seth: Makeda is a huge Thai fan and had been talking up this place for a little while. When a reservation attempt at a Mediterranean place didn’t work out this was our next choice. We made our way down Comm Ave, into the restaurant and into our seats without a wait. It mostly filled up as dinner went along but it doesn’t appear it’d be a problem in the future. I convinced my dinner companions that starting with a bottle of Champagne was a good idea and we moved right into the appetizers. The stuffed chicken lollipops were an original a tasty idea. The fresh rolls were just that, rolls of bright fresh veggies in a really nice dipping sauce. The Spareribs, I couldn’t turn down and I’m glad we didn’t. Perfectly cooked a with a slightly sweet glaze, they didn’t disappoint. I picked the Duck Curry hoping for a little zing with my favorite poultry option. The entrée was delicious. I agree with Ren with her Pad Thai being top-notch. I’ve always been a fan and this version was really superb. John’s duck was in a fantastic!! sauce and nicely cooked. Makeda’s dish came in a rich flavorful broth that I likened a little to Pho in its complexity. We chatted and ate and snuck in a round of beers before the food was completely gone. Once again, when it’s the four of us, we do not turn away from a dessert, splitting a deep-fried espresso ice cream that closed out the meal quite well. My favorite thing: that sparerib sticks in my memory

Ren: Schedule conflicts lead us to have our first ever Saturday night blog night which also brought a difficulty in making reservations. Thus we ended up at Thai restaurant Brown Sugar were no reservations are necessary and we didn’t have to wait. We started the evenings festivities with a bottle of champagne  an order of spareribs, wings, and Thai rolls.  The ribs fell off the bones, the wings were paired with an excellent sauce, and the rolls were made with fresh veggies. They were brought out one by one which allowed us to enjoy each dish. My entrée of duck pad thai arrived soon after. I would have to say it was the best pad thai I have ever had, which could also be because it was the first duck pad thai I ever had. We finished the evening off with a beer and espresso fried ice cream which was very well executed with the perfect amount of crust. Definitely a must for any Thai food fan, I will be returning for the pad thai. My favorite thing: The flavorful pad thai

Food: Seth 8 Ren 8 Food Average: 8 Tasty Thai food. Original and interesting appetizers. Some great food to check out

Service: Seth 7 Ren 6.5 Very average to a little below service. Not really around when we needed her and a few mistakes

Decor/Atmosphere: Seth 8 Ren 8 Nicely done spot, making use of their space. The requisite fish tanks and a really gorgeous tapestry on the wall. Wait till you see their version of Happy Birthday to a guest. Makes all the other ones you’ve ever seen pale in comparison

Total Average: 7.583 Take away the spotty service which may very well be the exception with this spot and you have one of the best Thai places in the city. Go check it out

One bad thing: The service miscues and perhaps John’s under-cooked veggies

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The Elephant Walk – Cambodian Fusion

900 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

www.elephantwalk.com (617) 247.1500

*Not too far from Kenmore Square on the corner of Park St and Beacon St.

Seth & Ren, +2 Guests

  • –Drinks–
  • Bottle of Brut D’Argent
  • Spyglass
  • Italian Manhattan x2
  • Wormtown IPA
  • Shots x4
  • –Plates–
  • Avocat Kanthor
  • Rouleaux
  • Leah Chah
  • Watermelon Salad
  • Amok Royal
  • Loclac
  • Khar Saiko Kroeung
  • Duck Wonton
  • –Dessert–
  • La Peche au Chocolate
  • Tarte Chocolate au Caramel
  • Mousse aux Fruits de la Passion
  • $258.35 w/tax ($108.10 in Drinks)

Average Price/Person: $30-40 w/ drinks: $40-60

*Note: Elephant Walk offers a Prefix Menu all year, tonight 2 of us decided to go with the prefix menu.

Makeda:  As Seth is too busy writing a paper this week for grad school, I will be guest writing for this post.  We were in the mood for something different, so why not Cambodian French fusion, a combination I would never think of pairing. I studied the menu heavily and made my selection before I even entered the restaurant.  When we arrived we were greeted and seated quickly, and started with a bottle of wine.  Elephant Walk has an unexpectedly casual atmosphere, which made for an enjoyable dinner.  If I had any question of how I would feel about Cambodian flavors, they were immediately erased with the first bite of my appetizer; perfect chunks of tuna mixed with creamy avocado, chopped peanuts added a necessary crunch.  A sampling of Seth’s watermelon goat cheese Salad also did not disappoint, the sweet crisp melon complemented the creamy goat cheese perfectly.  Keeping the seafood theme, I followed with a traditional Cambodian dish, described as seafood custard.  Wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed in coconut milk, I devoured every bite of the perfectly cooked seafood inside.  The coconut milk added creaminess without being too heavy.  As is custom I had a sampling of everyone’s entrées, tender duck with bites of caramelized pear left quite an impression, as did the braised short-rib. And then dessert, I finished the night off with the chocolate caramel tart, it was perfect.  A close runner-up was the fruit mouse, almost a palate cleanser it was tangy and just enough sweet.  I will definitely be back at Elephant Walk again; there are still so many things on the menu I need to try. My Favorite Thing: The tuna avocado salad!

Ren: A search for a cuisine we hadn’t tried yet led us to Elephant Walk. A Cambodian French fusion restaurant located near Fenway. We were feeling in a particularly celebratory mood so we decided to start the evening off with a bottle of rose Brut. Which was followed by a round of shots and tasty cocktails making for a very excellent evening. For my appetizer I had spring rolls followed by mussels. Both were incredibly tasty and well prepared with a flavorful dipping sauce and a delightful broth with a kick. Makeda  had a tuna avocado salad appetizer salad which was refreshing and surprisingly flavorful which we all loved. For my entrée I had a pepper caramelized steak over lettuce with white rice. The flavor profile was a great idea and tasty but I found the steak to be slightly over cooked. If it had been cooked just a little bit less I think it would have been much better. John’s short ribs were tender as was Seth’s duck; definitely worth a try. I didn’t get a dessert but I tried a bite of everyone else’s which while a bit to sweet for me were all delicious. The caramel tart was definitely the best of the three. All in all it was a really pleasant evening worth a repeat visit. My favorite thing: a tie between the mussels and the spring rolls.

Food: Ren 8 Makeda 9 Food Average: 8.5 *Certified Dericious* Very tasty and original food combinations with an unfortunate misstep on Ren’s steak

Decor/Atmosphere: Ren 7 Makeda 7 An average looking place with an upbeat atmosphere. Nothing terribly memorable

Service: Ren 8.5 Makeda 8 Other than a slip-up with improper glasses for the Brut, the waitress was friendly and fun. She knew the menu and interacted with our table well.

Total Average: 7.917 We’ll be back here again. The food and service stood out enough to warrant another trip sometime soon. Maybe date night.

One bad thing: Ren’s steak was overcooked and a little dry