East Asia (CLOSED)
868 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144
Finding Chinese food in Somerville is about as difficult as finding a Red Sox fan inside of Route 128. Every other block in this city seems to have a Chinese takeout place or a full-service restaurant. But the key is to know where the best Chinese restaurants are in Somerville, and that can be narrowed down to, among others, Wang's in Magoun Square and Zoe's near the Cambridge border. But there is also a little-known restaurant in Powderhouse Square (or Powderhouse Circle, depending on whom you ask) called East Asia that, while perhaps not quite up to the lever of Wang's or Zoe's, is an excellent place in its own right. And an extra bonus is that East Asia is both a terrific Chinese restaurant AND a terrific Thai restaurant. Not too many dining spots can sport that claim.
East Asia is a tiny place with only a few tables (thus making it more popular for takeout). The folks who run it are friendly people who make everyone feel like family there. Both the Chinese and Thai dishes are freshly made and reasonably priced. Some of the standouts on the Chinese part of the menu include a mild but tasty hot and sour soup, a kung pao chicken that has tender white slices of chicken, peanuts, and veggies mixed in a tomato-based sauce, and a house lo mein that has unusually fresh noodles (not the dried out kind that so many places have). Thai dishes include a wonderful basil tofu soup that has mushrooms, carrots, and other veggies in a clear broth, a steamed Thai vegetable dumpling plate that is simply outstanding (and comes with a terrifically tangy ginger-soy sauce), a basil fried rice dish that is just ok, and a solidly good pad Thai. Other dishes at East Asia include some of the best Singapore noodles you will have anywhere in the Boston area (though don't expect much heat from their version), and a steamed Vietnamese vegetable spring roll plate which proves that some foods can be both healthy AND delicious.
East Asia may not be the best Chinese--or Thai--restaurant in the Boston area, but it is a place that is perfect for neighborhood folks looking for good takeout as well as others who will probably find the small yet attractive dining room to be a pleasant place for a meal. And it definitely stands out among the many Chinese restaurants scattered throughout Somerville. Anyone looking for good Chinese or Thai food in Somerville should definitely consider a trip to East Asia.
Copyright © 2007, Boston's Hidden Restaurants (www.hiddenboston.com).
Have you visited our restaurant blog? If so, you may not be aware of how far back it goes (almost to the birth of our site). If you would like to see archived entries from the start of the blog, please go to the Boston Restaurant Blog 2005 Archives to see what we were talking about back in the early days!