Bites Nearby: Tom Can Cook

This "Asian fusion" restaurant in Waltham offers a little of everything.

wants to satisfy almost any preference for Asian food -- Thai, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Szechwan. This "fusion" philosophy has both advantages and disadvantages, since it provides lots of different choices, yet can be a bit ambitous.

This restaurant's menu is not overwhelming and there's a good variety of dishes: curries, seafood, noodle soups, tempura, miso soup, iced Thai tea and more. There are lots of fun appetizers too, including chicken satay, tempura, calamari and scallion pancakes. While we visited, a couple nearby was eating a vegetarian dish with vegetables and tofu. They found it quite good, with the peanut sauce not too sweet or spicy and served on the side. It's not the most authentic ethnic restaurant in the area, but it has many classic dishes.

Suggested dish: We had that most popular Thai dish: pad thai, with both chicken and shrimp, rice noodles, egg, bean sprouts, lime and crushed peanuts. It was available in three variations including regular, crispy and extra spicy. We had the regular one ($9.95). Three shrimp were large and tasty and the chicken plentiful. The dish wasn't too sweet (some pad thai can be) and the flavors were balanced. As an added benefit, the bean sprouts were plentiful and fresh, contributing a crunchiness to the otherwise soft rice noodles. The whole dish might have been better with less sauce. For what it's worth, a chef at a back table was eating the crab with yellow curry.

The vibe: Quiet and cosy, with both booths and tables.

Cool factor no. 1: You can order either white or brown rice with any dish that comes with rice.

Cool factor no. 2: Pad thai ranks No. 5 on a reader's poll of the "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods" compiled by CNN in 2011.


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