Sometimes, parking (or a lack of) plays a fairly major role in whether a restaurant is going to be popular or not. And Bamboo, which is a real gem of a Thai restaurant in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, could probably be considered one such place. If Bamboo were located in a shopping center in Framingham, along Route 1 in Saugus, or perhaps in the center of a quiet town such as Belmont or Westwood, the restaurant would probably be packed every night. Why? Three reasons: The food, the food, and the food.
Simply speaking, Bamboo is simply one of the best Thai restaurants that no one has heard of. This charming little restaurant, located in Brighton (or is it Allston?) serves some tremendous authentic Thai dinners, as well as a handful of better-known, Americanized dishes. In other words, there is something for everyone at Bamboo. Some of the particularly good meals include the drunken noodle (chicken with rice noodles, basil leaves, and vegetables in a hot garlic sauce); the kao krapao (ground chicken with garlic, chili, and basil over rice); and the fantastic vegetable dumpling soup. Bamboo also has a decent beer selection, including a tasty coffee-flavored stout from Thailand.
There is something about the atmosphere at Bamboo that is special, too; perhaps it is the colorful lights that give the restaurant an exotic air, or maybe the intriguing artwork on the walls. Whatever it is, it all works, as Bamboo feels at once both relaxing and comfortable. And doesn't hurt that the service is efficient and low-key. For a moment, anyways, you can make believe that you're not on one of the busiest roads in the Boston area.
Don't be scared off by the parking situation at Bamboo; if you look around a bit, you should find a parking spot. Also, the MBTA trains (Green Line) go right by Bamboo on their way downtown. Or, if it's a nice night and you're so inclined (no pun intended), park on Summit Avenue near Coolidge Corner in Brookline and walk up and over a big hill. You'll catch some spectacular views, and when you reach the end of Summit Avenue, you're within shouting distance of the restaurant. No matter how you end up at Bamboo, you will surely be rewarded by great food, atmosphere, and service.
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