O-Sha on Arsenal Street in Watertown doesn't look like much on the outside, but then neither do some of the best eateries in Boston's Chinatown neighborhood. Given that its three chefs come from other good restaurants in the region (see below), it's worth a visit to this new Asian eatery, for either lunch or dinner. Its menu has the now-familiar, highly popular Thai and Japanese dishes: curries, noodle dishes (including pad thai), sushi and maki rolls, miso soup, appetizers, jasmine rice and desserts like black-sesame ice cream and Thai blueberry custard.
Suggested dish: Forgoing the extensive menu of sushi and maki plates, we went for one of three lunch specials (11 a.m.-3 p.m.): basil chicken ($7.50). It was plentiful and fragrant, the vegetables (two kinds of peppers, onions and mushrooms) were crunchy, and the dark sauce it came in was surprisingly light and tangy. Most impressive, though, the lightly grilled, whole basil leaves were crispy, delicious and not overpowering. Along with rice, the special came with a garnish of fresh pineapple chunks. Although listed a "medium," its spicy level can be adjusted to suit personal tastes. It can also be ordered with pork.
The vibe: Pleasant, quiet and clean.
Cool factor no. 1: The chefs are from two other Asian restaurants in the region: Oishii in Chestnut Hill and The Pearl on Nantucket.
Cool factor no. 2: As a brand-new restaurant, they're eager to please.