A few nights ago, I ventured to Blue Taleh in Lowell for dinner with my sister and a few friends. It was not the first time I had visited Blue Taleh, and we went there this time at my suggestion, so obviously the first few visits could not have been too bad. I hoped for the same level of quality the third time around.
We started with a round of drinks. My sister, Daniela, and I shared a Taleh bowl, BT’s version of a Scorpion bowl. It tasted fine, but was rather small for the $20 price tag.
Then we ordered two appetizers to share: scallion pancakes and crab rangoon. The scallion pancakes were delicious; they arrived at our table looking like they had just been removed from the deep fryer, and were served with a fantastic green curry sauce.
The crab rangoons, on the other hand, tasted very much not like crab. We came to the consensus that the flavor was a bit like that of Kraft macaroni and cheese. (Hence, Daniela cleverly dubbed them “Kraft rangoons.”) Everyone loves macaroni and cheese, of course, but it was not quite the flavor I was looking for when I ordered wontons stuffed with crab (allegedly) and cream cheese. The house sweet sauce with which it was served was yummy, but would have gone better with crab rangoons, instead of what tasted like mass-produced, chemical-laden children’s food from a box, prepared in the microwave, thrown in a blender, then shoved inside wonton wrappers. (I want to point out, however, that I would not necessarily oppose this concoction had it been prepared and ordered deliberately/I were very drunk.)
Next, we ordered a few types of sushi rolls (The Barking Crab maki, Krazy maki, and Volcano maki) as well as a plate of pad Thai to share.
All three types of rolls were palatable and tasted fresh, which is always nice and mildly surprising, considering the fact that we live in an area where really great sushi is hard to come by. One cannot go wrong with Blue Taleh’s Krazy maki and its tried-and-true combo of shrimp tempura, cucumber, and avocado, nor with the Volcano maki, a towering mountain of spicy tuna rolls topped with scallops, crabsticks, mushrooms, tempura crumbs, and spicy mayo… but I was especially partial to the Barking Crab maki, comprised of avocado, crab, tempura crumbs, and spicy mayo, and topped with torched pepper tuna. The pepper crusted on the tuna really made the flavors pop.
The pad Thai was delicious as well, consisting of rice noodles stir fried with egg, bean sprouts, scallions, ground peanuts, and homemade fish sauce. I actually enjoyed the dish more than any pad Thai I’ve tried in Boston. (Side note: please, if you know where I can get great pad Thai in the city, do share!)
With all that filling protein, we had no room for dessert. The food was satisfying, but the service was neither particularly friendly nor prompt. Despite this, the overpriced drinks, and the Kraft rangoon flop, we enjoyed the meal overall, and left full and happy.
Rating: 3 out of 5