Bong Hits and Squid Ink
For The Improper Bostonian, MC Slim JB raves about “results [that] are rarely less than astonishing” at Pagu, which opened recently in Cambridge’s Central Square and seems to “express the soul of an actual human individual,” unlike so many other restaurants that seem to come from “an assembly line manned by MBAs.” Top picks include the cheesy wafflato (“presumably inspired by French dessert technique and bong hits”), the squid-ink oyster bao (“an unearthly-pretty and delectable few bites”), and the tortilla española, which “may have stolen the crown as Boston’s best” incarnation of the classic Spanish dish.
Ted Weesner reviews Brassica Kitchen + Cafe in Jamaica Plain for The Boston Globe this week. The restaurant’s dishes are “surprising, outsize, giant-flavored, D.I.Y.-ish, and ever courting risk,” he writes. From the restaurant’s rotation of toasts, Weesner recommends the liver mousse version with fermented cabbage and duck honey, along with the minced salmon belly version. He praises the bolognese, which is made with homemade pancetta, and he writes that the dishes of yams and baby beets are both “wonderful orchestrations of flavor, texture, heft, surprise.” Other highlights: the rabbit with brown bread and the spicy chocolate cremeux for dessert.
Sheryl Julian visits T’ahpas 529 in Melrose for her latest Globe piece. Looking past the oddly spelled name, she finds classics like patatas bravas and crispy empanadas alongside “delicious fried artichokes” and garlicky shrimp. The paella ciega, which needs to be ordered at the beginning of the meal, is an abundant spread of seafood with “lovely, familiar flavors.” Overall, Julian writes, “sometimes a more traditional approach is the best way.”