Word of mouth can often play such an important role in the success of new restaurants as well as older ones, and sometimes, that is pretty much all a restaurant can depend on, no matter how good the place is. Take, for instance, Thai Moon, a tiny dining spot that is hidden away a bit on the western edge of Arlington Center; while it is by no means new anymore, it seems to have proven this point quite well since its beginnings a number of years back, and the restaurant still continues to depend at least partly on folks telling their friends about it, making it a truly local spot that is barely known outside of Arlington and the surrounding cities and towns.
When Thai Moon first opened, a major Boston newspaper gave this Thai restaurant a great review, giving it a quick burst of popularity. Since then, however, the hype has gradually died down quite a bit, and for reasons unknown to this writer, this friendly little dining spot still doesn't seem to be recognized by many restaurant reviewers. It's a shame, really, as Thai Moon is considered by locals an excellent Thai restaurant that has great food, friendly service, and decent prices.
Everything about Thai Moon is soothing; the quiet and comfortable room, the no-rush atmosphere, and the low-key waitstaff make for an experience quite different from so many of the loud, bustling places that aren't the best places to have a peaceful, leisurely meal. Add some terrific comfort food dishes such as savory Thai pancakes (which are made with rice flour and stuffed with scallions), deep-fried pork dumplings and steamed pork dumplings, a benign-looking yet fiery-hot chicken basil fried rice, a sweet-tasting country style noodle, a particularly good Pad Thai (including one with shrimp and chicken along with a decent meatless version that comes with tofu) entree, a marvelous country-style noodles plate which is a bit like Pad Thai but comes with wide, flat noodles; Noodles Kee Mao, which is basically drunken noodles and is hot in a sneaky kind of way, and a variety of interesting curry, seafood, and vegetarian dishes to the equation and you have a place that almost begs the question: Why don't more people know about this restaurant?
For awhile, Arlington was considered among the best "restaurant towns" in the Boston area, though a number of closings have knocked things back just a bit. But it is still a very good community for dining out, and the terrific Thai Moon does is one of a handful of spots to keep in mind here. If you're in the mood for a relaxing meal that is both inexpensive and delicious, give Thai Moon a try. And don't forget to spread the word.
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