by Celina Colby

Narumon Jenkitcharoenchai and her husband, the owners of Sweet Rice in Charlestown, have opened a new restaurant: Maguro, at 1335 Beacon Street in Coolidge Corner. A vibrant newcomer to the neighborhood, Maguro serves Thai and Japanese cuisine in a chicly decorated space.

After ten years of running Sweet Rice, the duo felt ready to expand their business. Brookline was their first choice for a location. They live in neighboring Allston and have always been attracted to the Coolidge Corner area. “I feel like Brookline is the safest city to live in Massachusetts,” says Jenkitcharoenchai. “The roads are always clean; the people are always nice.”

Like Sweet Rice, Maguro serves Japanese and Thai dishes for a diverse and dynamic menu. “It’s a good combination because you get a lot of options, and they go together very well,” says Jenkitcharoenchai. “I feel like there’s nowhere else in Brookline that has that combination.”

Sweet Rice has a majority of Thai dishes, while Maguro prioritizes Japanese sushi. “Maguro” translates to “tuna” so having the freshest, tastiest sushi is essential. The team gets their fish imported directly from Japan for the highest level of quality control. So far, their sushi combinations have been the most popular items on the menu, featuring fresh slices of things like tuna, salmon, squid, yellow tail, and more.

Though sushi is a big draw, don’t neglect the Thai dishes on the menu. Both owners are from Thailand, and all the dishes on the menu are family recipes. The drunken noodles dish is a particular favorite of Jenkitcharoenchai. “When I was in school, my mom used to cook this dish all the time back in Thailand,” she says. “We didn’t spend that much time with her because she travels a lot, but when she came home, she would always make this dish.”

The menu is very friendly to dietary restrictions. Jenkitcharoenchai says they can amend any dish to be vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc., by subbing out sauces, meats, and noodles as required. They have vegan sauces on deck at all times.

Maguro opened in November and is still working on building its ideal amount of foot traffic. Weekends are busiest, and Jenkitcharoenchai anticipates they’ll get even more diners in once their liquor license is approved and the team can start slinging cocktails. For now, they’re taking diner feedback very seriously and amending things necessary to cater to the neighborhood’s needs.

They’ve been collaborating with Crafts Zone on Harvard Streets to get the word out. The DIY studio runs social media giveaways and hands out gift cards to promote Maguro as a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gesture.

Launching the new business has been an effort, but Jenkitcharoenchai is excited to settle into the Coolidge Corner community.