BOSTON (CBS) – If you like Asian food, you’re in luck.

The Phantom Gourmet had the good fortune of finding a place that’s serving up gourmet Asian cuisine in Inman Square, Cambridge.

East by Northeast in Cambridge is tucked into a tiny storefront with a handful of tables, plus four stools perched at a compact bar.

Low-lit and cozy, the space is decked out in Asian wood carvings, soothing Earth tones, and chalkboards bearing market-fresh daily specials.

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The menu of Asian tapas runs the gamut from salads and dumplings to house-made noodles in every guise. First, “dumplings” filled with chicken, smoked fish, and garlic chive puree were beautifully light and flavorful. A pillowy, pan-crisped “bun” was packed with salty, unctuous pork belly-plus Daikon radish and sweet bean paste for contrast.

Next, house-made “noodles” were fluffy yet al dente, piled high with succulent pork ragu and spiked with chile vinegar. A brothy “noodle” dish boasted sweet turnip, gooey poached egg, and tender beef shank, but the spicy broth had burnt offnotes.

There was no dessert, but sugar fiends can find Christina’s Ice Cream a few blocks away. The carb-fest of a menu is filling, and you can add extras like five-spice boiled peanuts for a few bucks more.

The waitress was on her A+ game, anticipating Phantom’s every need. The place is so small there’s hardly room for a mess. Phantom would pay beyond the single-digit prices for all this homey deliciousness.

East by Northeast is on Cambridge Street in Inman square, with street parking.

Phantom gives East by Northeast a total of 87; gourmet greatness.

Check out all the food and fun on the Phantom Gourmet Sundays at 10:30 and 11 on TV-38.


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