Moksa, the newest restaurant from Chef Patricia Yeo, opened in Cambridge in March. Early reviews have been all over the spectrum. Self-described as “Boston’s first Pan Asian Izakaya,” Moksa has a wide-ranging menu: A spin on crab Rangoon includes real crabmeat and spicy mustard sauce, a Uyigur lamb dish is served over “rice gnocchi,” and dumpling choices include both Berkshire pork and edamame pot stickers.
On their first visit, Prav and yumyum were pleasantly surprised. Beef tongue on a stick was “tender and juicy,” with a strong cumin flavor, and the Silk Road meatballs had a “lamby, spicy, minty, meatbally-goodness,” Prav says.
The aforementioned Uyigur lamb is a “must-get dish,” according to Prav. It’s “a cereal bowl full of tender chunks of lamb, with such a delightfully spicy (but not too hot) underlying cumin burn, stir fried with veggies.” The “gnocchi” are actually “oval discs of rice cake,” or duk, Prav says, also noting that they were overcooked and gummy.
Others hounds were far less impressed by recent meals. “Seasoning is way off in most dishes we tried,” Small Plates says. “The Berkshire pork dumplings we had were so salty the dish was inedible. Ditto the miso shortrib.” For DoubleMan, the biggest problems were the service and the space, especially the “dark middle room with the spotlights.” Several hounds also felt that the food wasn’t a good value. “I felt about Moksa the exact same way I did after having two consecutive meals at Ginger Park—held up and robbed,” Small Plates says, comparing the experience to Chef Yeo’s former restaurant.
As for the cocktail program, managed by Noon Inthasuwan (previously of Om and Umami), rlh had high expectations, but left disappointed. “The special watermelon margarita cocktail was a total mistake,” rlh says. “It just didn’t taste good. It takes more finesse than they have to pull off habanero in a cocktail.”
Moksa Restaurant [Central Square]
450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Discuss: Moksa – Tender, Spicy, Meaty
Photograph of Uyigur lamb by yumyum