Cambridge restaurant Moksa is offering a new sort of dining and nightlife experience.
Since its opening in March of 2012, Moksa has added a new element of entertainment to the already buzzing Central Square, which boasts myriad dining, live music, theater, and nighttime venues, as well as a rich ethnic culture and vibe.
“Moksa’s location was very intentional,” said co-owner Solmon Chowdhury.* “I grew up in the Central Square area and know the neighborhood and surrounding culture and atmosphere very well. I knew I wanted a place in that specific area where lots of people could have fun.”
The restaurant itself capitalizes on the diversity of the area and offers Pan Asian cuisine, specializing in small plates, tapas, and sushi. While exploring diverse styles and flavors throughout the meal is something Moksa does gracefully and with ease, the many variations of dumplings and specialty sushi rolls are of a particularly masterful level, according to Chowdhury, who also states that the restaurant is “perfect for large groups looking for a fun dining experience.” Further, Moksa offers “an amazing cocktail selection” that perfectly complements the dishes and has led to numerous beverage awards.
Moksa does not only act as a restaurant, however. Chowdhury described the place more as a “fun venue with a great food component.” The entrance to Moksa leads to a bar and lounge that flows into the dining area.
Such a multifaceted experience places Moksa in the position of a “one-stop evening experience,” according to Chowdhury. Moksa’s guests can enjoy all nightlife options, including a nightclub called Naga in the rear of the restaurant-that would normally require multiple stops as the night progresses without ever having to leave the venue.
Such a unique and interesting place in turn attracts a unique cliental, as well as a cross between age groups. “The older crowd,” as Chowdhury puts it, frequents the bar and lounge in the front of the venue, while the “younger crowd,” particularly young professionals who are extremely prevalent in the Cambridge area, flock to Naga. The restaurant is the middle ground where members of both groups can mingle and enjoy a dining and drinking experience.
Moksa’s location in a prime nightlife center, as well as its ever-growing reputation, has led to a great deal of success. Moksa is consistently busy and humming with lovers of fun Pan Asian dining as well as those searching for a club and bar experience, young and old alike. Chowdhury said that she is “always open” to future restaurant plans, but is currently focusing on Moksa and the other restaurants currently under her ownership.
It is clear that Moksa has a particular draw for college students, especially while the temperatures remain chilly. Due to Moksa’s proximity to the Red Line, one T ride can bring BC students with a taste for sushi and tapas to an eatery that can satisfy that desire and allow them to enjoy a bar or nightclub afterward. As a result, students would have to face the cold for only short periods of time. The nightclub is especially meant for college students and young professionals, and often books well-known, international DJs. Chowdhury calls the nightclub, Naga, “perfect for the college crowd” and hopes to attract more of that demographic in the future.
Though Cambridge and Central Square are filled with diverse restaurants and bars frequented by the many college students in Boston and Cambridge, Moksa gives itself a unique advantage through its innovative mixture of cuisine, drinks, and the bar and nightclub scene.
*Correction: In an earlier version of this article, the co-owner of Moksa was identified as Solomon Chowdhury. His name is Solmon.