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Two Out of Four Stars for Legal Oysteria and More

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Here's what the critics are saying this week. Read on for reviews of Legal Oysteria, Legal on the Mystic, Taco Loco, and Brass Union.

Legal Oysteria in Charlestown
Legal Oysteria in Charlestown
Chris Coe

Legal Oysteria, the new Charlestown Legal Sea Foods offshoot in the former Olives space, gets two stars out of four ("good") from Devra First in the Globe this week. She disputes owner Roger Berkowitz' view that "chain" is a bad word, writing, "There are good chains. There are bad chains. I think Legal is a pretty good one, as it happens." The "warmth of the staff" is a plus at the Oysteria, although "[t]here are moments of tone-deafness, chumminess veering into stalker territory." Unfortunate considering the name, raw oysters may be "the weakest point," but the grilled or baked varieties are "wonderful." Also a plus: the sopressata pizza, "pure late-night pizza parlor fare, with all its inherent satisfactions." [BG]

Another Legal offshoot, Legal on the Mystic, gets the "Quick Bite" treatment by Kara Baskin in the Globe this week. "This is not your grandparents' Legal," she declares, citing the "blithe spirits, nibbling sashimi and nursing cocktails at lunch while grooving to Sublime." As far as the food goes, "[t]he menu is long and portions are shareable." She overhears a diner calling the calamari "heavenly" and notes that the menu includes "[s]tandbys like lobster rolls and baked Boston scrod" as well as dishes like "a grilled salmon Reuben, chipotle lime shrimp tacos, and wild mushroom and lobster pizza, accessorized with an heirloom egg." [BG]

And the Globe also includes a "Cheap Eats" review from Catherine Smart this week, highlighting East Somerville's popular Taco Loco, which "is serving up some of the best Mexican food in the area." She recommends that you "start with the tacos, which at $2 apiece should be part of every student's unofficial meal plan." People who gravitate towards chicken should get out of their comfort zones and try the beef tongue, which is "so savory and satisfying, the wussiest eater in [Smart's] group wasn't even miffed when we she ate it." [BG]

Boston Burger Blog's Richard Chudy pays Brass Union a visit, finding "a very tasty burger" — but the requested medium-rare comes out as "very close to a medium-well with one or two pockets of rare for good measure." Overall, it earns 83 points out of a possible 100. "Don't expect this to be the best burger you've ever had, but for a relatively affordable and relaxed environment in the Cambridge/Somerville area, it is definitely a burger I can get behind." [BBB]

Legal on the Mystic

Great River Road, Somerville, MA 02145, USA

Taco Loco

44 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145, USA

Brass Union

70 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143, USA

Legal Oysteria

10 City Square, Charlestown, MA 02129 617-712-1988

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