When bloggers reviewed all 13 Thai restaurants last year, I missed out on what I heard was the best one of the bunch, Boda. I waited until the last minute (like I do with all my homework assignments) and found myself staring down the 'Closed' sign on Boda's door.
But I've been to Boda several times since the Thai-o-rama, and just never written about it here. So here's to me finishing what I started.
Boda is located at 671 Congress Street, which puts it at Longfellow Square in the ever expanding foodie corner there. It's hip and modern inside, with an open front and seasonal sidewalk tables. Their approach is street-vendor and tapas inspired skewer bar.
And while I can't vouch for the authenticity of the place, I enjoy the small plates approach. Boda's skewers, however, I've never been impressed with. Especially the tofu skewers ($4) ; they just tasted like grill to me.
The Miang Kum Som-oh is not to be missed though. The "bite-sized pummelo fruit salad [is served] on betel leaves w/ toasted coconut, peanut, lime, ginger, shrimp & shallots in a palm sugar dressing ($5)." As you can see, these fruit salad bites include a lot of great Thai flavors, and it comes together nicely in a mix of bitter, crunchy, sweet, and herby.
The group required some convincing to order the quail eggs ($7), but once the little darlings arrived, my friends were quickly won over by the yolks' creamy taste and texture. "Tastes like butter!" someone happily exclaimed.
The Wolf's Neck Beef Salad ($13) is great too; thinly shaved red onion and cucumbers accompany strips of beef with a lime-chili dressing, and plenty of mint and lemongrass to keep it interesting.
I never would have ordered the Kee Mao Noodles ($11 Vegetarian), but my friend K. did and I was impressed with the appeal of the dish. She asked for extra vegetables, and our server offered to ask the kitchen to add different vegetables, rather than just more peppers and onions. So it came with a nice assortment of perfectly stir fried veggies, and the noodles were cooked just right too.
While we didn't have dessert Friday night, but opted to finish our beers (great assortment of beers on tap), I know the coconut cream black rice pudding is delicious. I crave it.
So about Boda, someone said to me, you can get the same things at any Thai restaurant, but for a few dollars cheaper. I'm inclined to disagree, since Boda has consistency that so many other places lack. You can be happy with their curries, their unique appetizers, or a salad. At so many other Thai places, you can only order one or two solid dishes and be disappointed with the rest of your food.
Boda may not be your go-to for your Friday night take-out Pad Thai, but it is a nice place to spend an evening with friends, sharing small plates, catching up, and drinking amongst the hip downtown crowd. So for that, I like it.