Mecha Noodle Bar, a small Connecticut-based chain that’s been around for about a decade, opens its first of two planned Boston-area locations today, June 30. The restaurant is located in the former Peet’s Coffee space at 285 Harvard Street in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner. A location in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood is also in the works, set to open around fall 2022.
Mecha serves “some of Asia’s most comforting dishes,” from pho to ramen, as well as “riffs on food that can be found in the streets of Southeast Asia.” Diners might find everything from Korean fried chicken bao to Vietnamese egg rolls to red oil pork and shrimp dumplings with Sichuan vinegar. There are a variety of pho options; each is made with a beef and chicken broth. The ramen, on the other hand, comes in a few different broth styles, including a mushroom-packed vegetarian version. $0.50 from each ramen sale is donated to a local cause, which changes on a monthly basis.
To drink, there’s boozy bubble tea (think whiskey-spiked Thai iced tea or a strawberry and cherry tea with cachaca) and some other cocktails, as well as some sake, short beer and wine lists, phin-brewed coffee, and other soft drinks.
Mecha’s name is derived from the Vietnamese words for mother and father, which the team interprets as “mom and pop” — it’s an homage to cofounder Tony Pham’s parents and also drives the mission statement of the team’s philanthropic arm, Eat Justice: “Through the sacrifice and story of our immigrant parents, the seed of the American Dream was planted, and this is what grew: a commitment to build something bigger than ourselves.”
The goal of Eat Justice, via the Mecha restaurants, is to generate over a million dollars each year to fund campaigns that support a variety of nonprofits, from youth development to cancer research.
Mecha Noodle Bar Brookline (285 Harvard Street) is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week and can be reached at (617) 675-7577. The menu may vary slightly between locations, but get a general idea here.