Sunday, July 14, 2024

A bowl from Lanner Noodles & Bar in Cambridge’s Central Square. (Photo: Lanner)

Central Square is up two noodle spots: Lanner Noodles & Bar, a Chinese restaurant featuring hand-pulled noodles, opened at 24 Pearl St. where it meets Green Street, and What A Soup, specializing in Thai boat noodles, opened at 125 River St.

What A Soup replaced The Nu Dò Society, which opened during the pandemic and had a short run before closing this past year. Before The Nu Dò Society’s opening in 2020, the site was the home of the beloved restaurant and bar River Gods. The Thai boat noodles come with either pork balls, slices of beef and tendon or wagyu beef, a pricier choice. They’re the star of the show, but the menu includes other soups and appetizers, such as pork belly skewers and giant shumai.

The owners of What A Soup also run the Thai and sushi restaurant Thai Bar Shi in Weymouth and the chicken and rice spot What Da Chick in Watertown.

Down River Street and around the corner is Lanner, in the storefront vacated by Rangzen Tibetan Place last year. Its menu features six types of noodles, including a Lanzhou beef noodle soup. It also has a number of cold and hot small plates such as cold tossed cucumber, golden chicken nuggets and chilled bean jelly.

A meal from What A Soup, also new to Cambridge’s Central Square. (Photo: What A Soup)

The What A Soup and Lanner openings continue a noodle trend along the red line.

In Central Square alone, What A Soup and Lanner join Pepper Sky’s, The Mad Monkfish and Five Spices House, plus Mae Asian Eatery and Royal East. Not all are as noodle-forward as the new additions, but there’s unquestionably a large selection of noodle options in Central – and other squares. Lanner actually slots in next door to Pepper Sky’s at 20 Pearl St., where it serves a range of noodles from tom yum soup to pad Thai, in addition to hot pot specials and fried appetizers.

Farther down Massachusetts Avenue toward Harvard Square is Dumpling House, with a menu that also sees Taiwan noodles, Singapore noodles, sauteed flat noodles and pan-fried crispy noodles, among others. Then, of course, there’s the proliferation of ramen between Davis and Harvard squares — Hokkaido Ramen Santouka in Harvard, Yume Wo Katare in Porter and Tsurumen in Davis, to name a few.

What A Soup, 125 River St., Central Square, Cambridge. Open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Lanner Noodles & Bar, 24 Pearl St., Central Square, Cambridge. Still in its soft opening, Lanner is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. every day except Thursday


This post was updated Jan. 31, 2024, to correct the name of the restaurant next to Pepper Sky’s.