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Tiger Mama, Union Oyster House, and Two Vegan Cafes: Reviewed

Here's what the critics are eating and writing this week

Tiger Mama
Tiger Mama
Katie Chudy for Eater

The Improper Bostonian's MC Slim JB grabbed a taste of Southeast Asia at Tiffani Faison's Tiger Mama in Fenway, determining that the restaurant's "flavors survive upmarket translation." The nam prik, a Thai dip of crushed green chilies, won over Slim's palate, along with the pad gra pow, which has an initial subtlety to the heat that "accumulates to searing levels, needing a side of coconut sticky rice to counter the fire." Slim also said that a taste of the tom kha gai (a Thai sour soup) had "superior adornments," and "you also may have trouble ordering it elsewhere." Some dishes veered off course, he said, including the salty mala mushrooms and the acidic Southern-style pork laap, but the restaurant overall "delivers an upscale experience without sacrificing the soul of its source cuisines."

In this week's rotation of restaurant reviewers at The Boston Globe, Nestor Ramos visited a 190-year-old spot in the city: Union Oyster House. Rich in history and a time-honored traditional spot for tourists to frequent, Union has become an institution, and Ramos checked in on how the food has held up over nearly two centuries. The oysters fell flat, while the clam chowder was "reasonably satisfying," prompting quite the commentary on salt intake. The lobster dishes "range from adequate to bizarre," and "if the food were just a notch or two better, the experience might be worth the price," Ramos wrote.

Meanwhile, the Globe's Ellen Bhang checked out two vegan restaurants in the area: VO2 Vegan Cafe near Harvard Square and Wild Rice Vegan Cafe in Watertown. VO2 specializes in soups: the Moroccan chickpea is "hearty and warming," while the broccoli soup "offers a lush texture," Bhang wrote. The pressed North End sandwich has a garlicky pesto, spinach, and non-dairy cheese, and it is "excellent on Iggy's ciabatta." Bhang also sampled a satisfying smoothie. Over at Wild Rice, the tempeh "crab" cakes are vibrantly flavored, along with the "omelet" that comes with home fries rolled into a chickpea-flour crepe. She said the lentil soup with kale was excellent but that some menu options are "still being fine-tuned."

Union Oyster House

41 Union Street, , MA 02108 (617) 227-2750 Visit Website

O2 Vegan Café

1001 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 492-2233 Visit Website

Tiger Mama

1363 Boylston Street, , MA 02215 (617) 425-6262 Visit Website

Wild Rice Vegan Cafe

71 Elm St, Watertown, MA 02472 (617) 744-0126 Visit Website

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