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Sugar & Spice
Everything's nice
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Sugar & Spice feels like a restaurant you might find on the moon in a not-too-distant future, where spaceship trips for Thai food are not unheard-of. A futuristic feel pervades the space. The tables sport the only right angles; the walls, alternately tiled and painted the color of lima beans, curve in a sine wave. The lighting that hangs in the center of the room swoops and bends in a metallic interplanetary design. Other lamps dangle like bulbous glowing moon fruits over the booths. But purple and orange stained-glass panes look out not to the blue earth below, but to Mass Ave, a few blocks from the Porter Square T station.

The restaurant, which opened last month, has a lengthy menu broken into categories like "Noodles, Fried Rice & Something Nice," "Popular Native Thai Style Appetizers," "Escape from the Shore," and "Star Choices." The aptly named summer roll ($4.95) features vegetables, boiled shrimp, and seasoned tofu wrapped in a steamed rice sheet. Think of a miniature burrito with a translucent shell, sans rice, sans beans, crispy and light instead of squashy and bulky. The Sugar & Spice shrimp ($10.95) has veggies and shrimp in a chili-lime sauce. The green beans, peppers, carrots, zucchini, and onions all retain their individual flavor and crispness in the spicy sauce. In the classic pad Thai ($7.95), also available in spicier country-style or crispy versions, all the ingredients — the stir-fried rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, eggs, peanuts, bean sprouts, and generous amount of scallions — are blended in perfect accord. And for something traditionally Thai and especially exotic, try the somtum ($5.95), a papaya salad with shredded green papaya, carrots, tomatoes, and shrimp tossed with chili-lime sauce and crushed nuts. Sugar & Spice brings Thailand, which seems about as far away as the moon, to Porter Square.

Sugar & Spice, located at 1933 Mass Ave, in Cambridge, is open Sunday through Thursday, from 3 to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, until 11:30 p.m. Call (617) 868-4200.

Issue Date: December 26, 2003 - January 1, 2004
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