My bank had a May promotion - put 3 different $25 resturant bills on the debit card and get a $25 dining card - that prompted me to try a few nearby places frequented by CHers.
Red Leaf in Nashua had very little business at 7 on Friday. I explained to the cheerful waitress that I am a veritable sushi virgin, and was very pleased with the combo choices she recommended. I'd previously had and liked the beginner-level sushi that is the California roll, as well as seaweed salad and pickled ginger. The combo at Red Leaf ($15.95) included so-so miso soup, an ordinary iceberg/cuke salad with ginger dressing, and 6 pieces each of 3 different rolls - in this case, California, eel/avocado (cooked), and raw spicy tuna. The waitress opined that people who are not used to raw fish can have trouble digesting an all-raw meal. I enjoyed all three, but it was more food than I'd expected, so I ate the raw tuna roll and one piece each of the other 2, bringing the rest home for another meal. Rich ginger ice cream was a generous portion. The service was attentive and friendly - I agree with a previous post that the room is overly dark. An elderly couple seated nearby seemed to have trouble reading the menu. I'd say that for timid initiates like myself, Red Leaf is a gratifying intro to sushi.
I'd driven past Mango II Thai restaurant in Tewksbury countless times without trying it, so I am glad to have read good things about it on CH. I ordered take-out. The 4 deep-fried curry puffs, a special app mentioned in the Globe's review but not on the print menu, contained a tasty mix of chicken and potato, rather knish-like in heartiness. I ordered from the "build your own" section of the menu, which includes dozens of choices of protein, veggies, nuts, sauces, and starches. I chose squid, shrimp, and haddock fillet with asparagus, onion, scallion, green and snow peas, in ginger sauce over brown rice. With such a variety of ingredients, it was hard to decide, but that turned out to be a delicious dish which I would certainly order again. I wish I could recall exactly what was in the Seafood Red Curry at the long-gone Nakhon Thai in Lowell. Not only was it delicious, but very pretty, with the red curry sauce over white seafood, rosy shrimp, and an all-green assortment of vegetables. Note that while Mango II's website says it is open for lunch on Saturdays, currently it opens at 4 on Sat/Sun.