Waltham Ethnic restaurant reviews

I'm starting this page with reviews of restaurants Jennifer and I have dined at recently. I'd be happy to add additional reviews from restaurants that readers of this page have visited, and will credit you with the review. Please send reviews or comments to Scott at sshurr@gmail.com.

Waltham Restaurants home

Key to review colors

green dot Positive review (green light)
yellow dot Mixed review (yellow light)
red dot Negative review (red light)

Other ethnic styles
  • Absolutely Asia [Chinese, Japanese, Korean & Thai] $$ - 864 Main Street - 781-891-1700
  • Asian Grill [Japanese, Korean & Thai] $$ - 265 Moody Street - 781-398-1600
  • Carambola [Cambodian/French] $$ - 663 Main Street - 781-899-2244
  • Demos Restaurant $$ [Greek] - Lexington Street

    • green dot 1999 08 - Demos, at the corner of Lexington and Emerson Streets, is a large restaurant modeled after the original Demos in Watertown. The inside decor is airy, with pillars and photographs of Greece on the walls. Seating is a combination of booths and tables for 2 or 4 people. All items are ordered and paid for from a counter at the front. During the peak dinner hours, the orders are delivered to the tables; at other times you need to pick it up. Jennifer had the lamb shishkabob dinner which comes with Greek bread, a large Greek salad, 2 skewers, and fries, for $7.95. A bottled water was $1.00. The shishkabob is always done just right, with a pleasant marinade, and peppers and onions. I had the lamb shishkabob "sandwich", which is similar, but with only one skewer, a smaller salad, and no fries, for $4.95. A Canadien beer was $2.30. We've been satisfied with other orders as well in the past, such as chicken, and sausage, all reasonably priced. Demos is a great place to get a satisfying meal at a good price.

  • Fritay Restaurant [American West Indian] $$ - 33 Lexington Street - 781-899-9157
  • Guanachapi's $$ [Guatamalteca, Salvadorena, Mexicana, American] - 273 Moody Street - 781-788-8591, 781-788-8590

    • green dot 2006 06 26 review by Michael - Although I'm a gringo, I've enjoyed Latin-American food for many years, and have traveled several times to Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and have enjoyed many meals at Mi Tierra further up Moody st., so was looking forward to this new restaurant. I ordered a la carte: two pupusas (Salvadoran specialty; I got one with cheese, one with meat), rice, beans, and maduros (sweet plantains). Chips and salsa are complimentary and good. I found all the dishes to be quite good, authentic, and satisfying, and would defintely go back. Service and decor also quite nice, without being pretentious or fancy. My only complaint is that the papaya batido (milkshake) was a wee bit more expensive than most places. At $3.50 for 16 or 20 ounces, it's not outrageous, but more than the $2-2.50 at Taqueria Mexico and other Latin places in Jamaica Plain I go to often. Total meal price was about $13 for me, not including tip. I was there fairly early ( 5 p.m. or so) on a rainy Friday, and was about the only gringo there, but there were several Latinos/latinas also eating, always a good sign. Definitely a positive experience for me.

  • La Casa De Pedro [Spanish] $$ - 51 Main Street - 617-923-8025
  • Masao Kitchen [Vegetarian] $$ - 581 Moody Street - 781-647-7977
  • Ponzu $$ [Far east and the rest] - 286 Moody Street

    • green dot 2006 06 12 - review by Pam B - Ponzu is the latest of the internationally-themed restaurants on Waltham's Moody Street. Just opened in May at the site of the former La Piazza Italian cafe, the Ponzu team have done an excellent job with the location. An inviting exterior, nice lighting, a waterfall and warm paint colors. A sizable sushi bar is a focal point, but there is still plenty of room for tables. The menu is an interesting mix of Asian and Asian-inspired dishes. We stayed with the Asian Tapas -- a nice mix of appetizers. The sushi rolls were all fresh and beautifully presented. One of the most interesting appetizers was the Sushi Pizza -- tempura rice with crab meat and shrimp topping along with a light sauce. A tasty and unique dish! The staff was extremely attentive -- they answered all of our questions and certainly wanted to be sure we enjoyed the meal. A great option for a big group of family or friends who want to share lots of tastes of different dishes. Asian tapas -- you heard it here first!

  • Mi Tierra [Guatemalan] $$ - Main Street
  • The Skellig [Irish] $ - 240 Moody Street - 781-647-0679

    • green dot 2003 11 08 - review by Nicole and Shelley - On Nov. 8th, Shelley and I had lunch at the Skellig. Seems like a good pub environment. Relaxed atmosphere, friendly service, very good pub-style food. Apparently home to live Celtic music on a regular basis (not at lunch on a Saturday, however). Food in the $ range (total came to less than $15 for two meals and a softdrink). She had the Guinness Beef Stew and heartily recommends it. I had a perfect hamburger and excellent fries. Don't know about the brew, it was a bit early for us.

    • green dot 2004 02 26 - review by Eric Salerno - Don't be too timid to try the mussels, I watched a friend enjoy a whole bowl! I have had the Fish and Chips several times, and was always very pleased. Their website menu doesn't have it listed, but the best meal I had here was a very traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage. If you like Guiness, but have never had a Murphy's Irish Stout, I recommend you try one while you're here. Your Irish Brew will undoubtedly taste better with the sounds of the emerald isle behind you- the musicians play right in the middle of the room at one of the tables. Parking is easy, with the Public Waltham Lot right around the corner, behind the restaurant. The prices are very reasonable: Apps: $5-7 Entrees: $8-11.

  • Solea Restaurant & Tapas Bar [Spanish & South American] $$ - 388 Moody Street - 781-894-1805
    • yellow dot 2002 02 13 review by Peter Endicott - Solea - ate there as a party of four on 2/13/02. We tried 20 out or 24 of the hot tapas. It's a fun way to eat: sufficient portion size to share, and small enough to allow for lots of "courses". Nice variety of items, but, on the whole, I found the spicing a bit bland. Nothing really grabbed me (the way some of the appetizers at Blue Ginger in Wellesley do, for example). Not having much experience with "Spanish" food, I figured there would be some tastes that would be really novel.

      Nevertheless, I would happily eat there again because I love having the variety. The concept of tapas matches my preferred dining experience. And the sangria was very tasty.

      Pricing was moderate: $100 for all of us. This included wine by the glass and some beer.

      Easy parking. Friendly, experienced service. Smoky bar (not my scene - it's amazing how sensitive I've become to the polluting effects of cig smoke now that so many places don't allow smoking. And there were only about 4 couples in the bar.).

    • yellow dot 2002 04 12 review by Jim and Sue Salem - Sue and I fell in love with tapas after a trip to southern Spain several years ago. We've enjoyed excellent tapas meals at the Dali Restaurant (branches in both Cambridge/Somerville and Boston).

      Solea was disappointing. I first noticed this in the quality of the ingredients. Some vegetables did not seem fresh. The shrimp were very small. Overall, the food was saltier than needed.

      We tried a variety of the tapas. None excelled, especially considering the price. A glass of the Sangria was surprisingly bland. If you're looking for good tapas go to Dali.

      My favorite part of the restaurant was the ambience, especially the large windows in front.

    • red dot 2002 05 16 review by Chris Murphy - I took a business partner and two collegues to dine at Solea in Waltham in May 2002. I had been to Dali a couple of times and really liked it, so I thought Solea might be a good bet for something different. We ordered about 8-10 tapas dishes ranging from the marinated octopus to the suateed greens. I was thoroughly dissappointed in the food. The octopus was tasteless (as was most of the food we had there that night) and the greens were mushy. We also had the potatoes that were supposed to be spicy, but were bland. The duck leg was OK as was the beef tenderloin. The service when we arrived was pleasant enough, although the lines out of the waiter's mouth were scripted. Unfortunately, after our food came there was only one other visit by him until we were ready to order dessert. Consequently, our numerous empty plates remained on our small table for most of our meal, and we did not get a bread refill.

      In short, my recommendation is if you like bland, expensive food and inattentive service, be sure to visit Solea. You won't see me there anytime soon.

    • green dot 2002 09 13 review by Carol of Newton - We've been to Solea in Waltham several times in the past year, largely because the ambience is very nice--especially in the bar and front dining room--and we enjoy the Tapas concept and found the food fine. However, we have been there three times in the last month because we noted a definite improvement in the food and service. We found out they have a new chef who offers many of the same tapas from before, such as the scallops in saffron cream, duckling in berry sauce and the plato mixto, that we've always liked and does them even better. But there are also a few new items, most especially the Boccarones (white anchovies and salmon roe on toast with cr¸me fraiche) which are excellent. We have also taken to ordering from the full dinner side and sharing that as we would a Tapas. We have liked the paella, Argentine steak and Pescado a la sal. While the wait staff is often busy and there may be waits between visits, we tend to chalk that up to the larger number of trips necessary to deliver tapas, but we find them friendly and helpful. Not being fans of Sangria, we have also discovered Solea has an excellent bar and decent wine list, including Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. We also like it because diners almost always seem to be having a good time. One final note: Solea has the nicest bathrooms in Waltham and possibly in Metro West.

    • green dot 2003 03 30 review by Grant & Deb of Lexington - We hadn't been back to Solea for over a year (about the time of the currently posted reviews), but we liked the quality then and we liked it again this time. We had none of the unsatisfactory experiences cited in the reviews. Although we only had four tapas plates this time around (one a sample plate), all were excellent. The cheeses on the Plato Mixto were particularly sharp and smooth. The pork tenderloin in the Lomito al Cabrales was tender and the blue goat cheese sausce was very tangy. The tostadas were also very tasty as was the tuna dish. Service was swift and impeccable and even though it was quite crowded, they seated us in the dining room in under 15 minutes. Since we ordered all four of our tapas at once, we didn't need to keep getting service for each one. Nevertheless, the staff brought the tapas frias (cold) out first and allowed us a pause to enjoy those before bringing out the tapas calientes (hot). The tapas here are quite different than those we had in a number of Spanish locales, so we don't think a direct comparison is entirely fair. Overall, except for the high noise level (probably due to non-sound-absorbant walls, floor and furnishings) we really liked Solea last year and we liked it again!

    • green dot 2008 06 26 review by Rob Finn - What strikes one first about Solea Restaurant is the outdoor cafe style area filled with laughing patrons, who seem to be oblivious of the day to day rush hour traffic nearby. This area leads into an emaculate foyer. You can see that the owners went out of their way to decorate the inside with a higher lifestyle in mind. I was waited on immediately by an efficient hostess and wait staff, who were more than willing to assist with the menu selection. I ordered the Poblano Relleno and the Pimiento de Piquillo along with a glass of Pinot Gris, Bodegas Lurton, 2007, Mendoza. The meal was served hot and provided a sophisticated experience, honest. I took my time eating it. The wine, meal and check were delivered in an appropriately fashion. The service was excellent. Enjoy.

  • Sushi Yasu [Sushi & Japanese, Korean, Thai] $$ - 617 Main Street - 781-894-9783
    • green dot 2002 06 07 review by Christopher S. Penn - Restaurant Yasu - now Sushi Yasu - offers very fresh sushi at reasonable prices, certainly beating the prices in Boston. The staff are very attentive and friendly, but English is definitely not their strong suit. Regulars are given extra attention, and the cooked food is excellent as well. The atmosphere is a bit spartan, but fitting for a sushi restaurant. The only caveat is to never place an order by telephone unless you speak fluent Korean; the staff rarely gets telephone orders correct.

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Comments and suggestions welcome. Send email to Scott Shurr at sshurr@gmail.com
Created: September 1999. Updated: 4 July 2008 ...always under construction!