100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Bangkok Golden

Roast quail appetizer. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Nothing is hotter than Asian food at the moment, as high-minded, style-conscious Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, and Burmese restaurants have all crashed the dining scene in recent years. But when was the last time you ate koi or orm orkhao soi? If the names of those dishes sound unfamiliar, don’t worry. Laotian cooking remains an obscurity for most Westerners, and even the owners of this small, welcoming strip-mall restaurant have hedged their bets by offering two menus (one Thai, one Laotian—but don’t even look at the former) and a buffet. If that makes Bangkok Golden something of a curiosity, it’s not mere novelty that garners it a spot on this list; it’s the popping intensity of much of chef Seng Luangrath’s cooking. Few restaurants offer this much excitement, this much color, and this much variety on the plate, and nearly all cost three times as much. 

Open: Daily for lunch and dinner. 

Don’t Miss: Crispy rice salad; pork orm, a dill-scented stew; Laotian sausage; moo ping, barbecue pork; pork curry with coconut milk; grilled pork neck; sour tilapia soup; pickled pork belly.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.