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MC Slim JB on Moksa's "Fine and Fun Eating"

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Photo: Dominic Casserly

For STUFF, restaurant critic MC Slim JB reviews Patricia Yeo's much-hyped Central Square izakaya Moksa, citing the "thoroughly modern" restaurant as continuing proof of the neighborhood's evolved dining scene. Noon Inthasuwan's creations at the bar ar "gorgeous" and there is more than one instance of a "fierce flavor combination" as in "Steamed buns... pillowy rounds of steamed dough with char siew (Cantonese 'BBQ' pork) topped with fiery cucumber pickles." Uyigur lamb is "an utter knockout." [STUFF]

Can a restaurant be called good when the menu disappoints but the chef excels, when given the chance? B.N. Lee would largely say yes, which is why The Improper reviewer gives Fuji at Kendall three and half out of five stars. In contrast to the "pan-Asian menu as thick as a master’s thesis" filled with "pricey generic staples like.. mayonnaisy rolls and the requisite nigiri," a single amuse bouche is "a relevation." Lee describes chef Liang's downplayed talent as the makings of a (great) restaurant within a (dull) restaurant. And the ultimate praise in this town: "it’s Liang’s deft touch with fish and seasonings that brings dishes to the heights of flavorful experimentation encountered at O Ya or Oishii." The review makes an interesting counterpoint to Devra First's, which, sticking to the menu, yielded but one and a half stars. [TIB, ~EBOS~]

For the Globe, Devra First investigates the rebirth of Mare Natural Coastal Italian Restaurant into Mare Oyster Bar and finds the North End restaurant worthy of only one and a half stars. The first sentence: "Everything looks right at Mare Oyster Bar." Just "looks," meaning doesn't also taste. But the oysters are "beautiful, sparklingly fresh, correctly shucked, swimming in their liquor" and the fries are "astonishingly good." However seafood tends to be "overcooked and underseasoned." [BG]

As reviews for the Roslindale Nigerian restaurant Suya Joint stream in, it appears that the novelty of the venue's cuisine is not the only thing going for it. For the Globe's Cheap Eats column, Catherine Smart discovers that "while the food may take a while to arrive, most of it is worth the wait." The suya (skewers) feature "a flavorful blend of spices, including cayenne, thyme, and ground peanuts," and though the beef that comes with it is "so tough it’s practically inedible," joloff rice is "a standout." [BG]

Patrick McDermott assesses New Saigon Sandwich in Chinatown for the Phoenix's On the Cheap column and finds it to be "worth battling standing-room crowds for." A steaming stack of egg rolls reveals "a super-fresh, kind of nutty taste." Though banh mi are the staple here, alternatives like the barbecue chicken box are "equally alluring." Also, McDermott learns what a jackfruit is. [BP]

New Saigon Sandwich

696 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111 617 542 6296

Kika Tapas

350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 781 894 1805

Moksa

450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

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