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955 Boylston St. Send to Phone

Dinner nightly
Open late

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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Bar Code Restaurant Review

: Bar Code occupies prime night-crawling territory at the heart of the Back Bay on Boylston Street. On hot nights there’s a line outside the front door, complete with a towering bouncer. The upfront bar is all flattering light and cocktail-toting beauties. Downstairs is an oasis of a dining room, with booths and d├ęcor meant to evoke Indochina. No bones about it: Bar Code is as much about swank as sustenance, martinis taking as much limelight as munchies. So? Well, back in the kitchen, beyond the scene, chef George Leu does an admirable job with the food. He grafts flavors and techniques from Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan onto basic French preparations-and more than half the time he seems onto something. A spicy short rib exhibits skill with flavor-building, blending meaty richness, fiery Seoul-inspired spice and lushly textured acorn squash. Ditto the mussels in lemon grass broth-too bad the lackluster bread deters wannabe soakers. Slow-roasted salmon comes with watery sticky rice, a tangy-sweet red miso-lemon grass sauce and bok choy. Like the rest of the food, it’s hit or miss: once salty; once bad; once good. But always attractive. Is that a trend?


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