Thumbs up for Tamarind House

About a week ago I lamented to a friend the apparent lack of quality Asian restaurants in the Cambridge/Somerville area.  Not that I’m an expert on Asian food here after a month, but up to that point I’d been decidedly unimpressed with the Asian places I had been to (and inquired about): an inconsistent Cantonese meal in Chinatown (which my dad suffered a parking ticket for), a mediocre Americanized buffet lunch, and some unmentionable takeout.  I was starting to wonder what the deal was for a place overrun with Asians.  But recently, things have been looking up.  Last weekend I had really beefy pho at Pho ‘n Rice and today my coworkers introduced me to a Thai place a short walk away from the Press.  I ordered the Gai Gaprow and was very pleased with my dish.  Minced white meat chicken and plentiful, expertly sauteed bites of peppers and onions in a fragrant chili-basil sauce.  I especially appreciated how uniformly my vegetables were cut, an overlooked art in the age of Asian-style fast food.  The sauce was spicy and flavorful without being overwhelming, lending itself magnificently to being sopped by the well-cooked rice that accompanied it.  We also ordered some fresh and fried spring rolls, which were solid, though I’m generally not a huge fan of either.  The pad see ew earned praise, as did a tofu dish bearing the title “tofu extreme” or something equally awesome.  I’m sensing that the place isn’t aiming to be exquisitely authentic, considering it carries dishes with names like “exciting tofu” and “ocean madness.”  Still, it was evident to me that at least today, the food was made with attention and care.  Add to that some fish sauce and garlic, and tasty Thai-inspired food can’t be far away.

Tamarind House
1790 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140


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