I haven't seen a post on this little quirky place in Coolidge Corner in a while - so long that I couldn't remember the name as I and my dining companion walked over after listening to the Camille Paglia reading at the Booksmith (What a manic hoot she is!).
Arrived at 8:15 to a 1/3 full place, which later filled up quite nicely - always good to see bang-up business late on a cold Tuesday evening.
Love the picture menu, which features 4x6 glossies of every dish - clearly time was spent to cook and photograph every dish - nothing at all like the yellowed photos of diners past. For the uninitiated, it is very helpful to understand what a dish looks like before ordering.
I started with a small tom yum soup - it was good - lots of fresh mushrooms floating and three perfectly cooked shrimp. Usually, shrimp in the tom yum at other places can become quite tough, even rubbery, but these were perfectly tender. I would have preferred a little more heat and a little more lemongrass tang, but a good way to warm up.
DC and I split the duck larb and a special - sauteed eggplant with beef -
The larb is a huge serving of cold shredded duck with some onion, pepper and little white flecks of something crunchy - ground up nuts? Asafetida?
A slight warm heat - very tasty and all that duck fat mingles and cools with the spices.
The eggplant special was fairly straightforward, sauteed and possibly pre-grilled eggplants, onions, green peppers and beef served with a mound of rice, perfectly cooked - this had a real nice bite to it - even warmer than the larb - We were both stuffed but kept picking away until the end.
Even so, I persuaded my DC to try a little dessert - mango and sweetened sticky rice - this favorite included a large serving of warm rice, perfectly cooked to a slightly gelatinous sheen and a whole mango sliced...she deemed it quite good and I ate so much by the end that I had a tummy ache.
Here's to more Dok Bua tummy aches!