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100 Best Restaurants 2010: Nava Thai Noodle and Grill
No. 63: Nava Thai Noodle and Grill
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published January 1, 2010
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 Cheap Eats 2012 100 Best Restaurants 2012 Cheap Eats 2010 Cheap Eats 2011 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Nava Thai
Address: 11301 Fern St., Wheaton, MD 20902
Phone: 240-430-0495
Neighborhood: Wheaton
Cuisines: Thai
Opening Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11:30 AM to 10 PM. Open Friday and Saturday 11:30 AM to 10:30 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Wheaton
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Papaya salad; pad Thai; hot-and-sour squid; frittata of mussels with green curry; Floating Market Noodle Soup; drunken noodles
Price Details: Starters, $5.95 to $6.95; main courses, $7.95 to $10.95.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Cuisine: If it’s not Washington’s best Thai restaurant, it’s easily the most interesting. Owners and cooks Suchart and Ladavan Srigatesook have culled a fascinating assortment of dishes from the night-market stalls and floating barges in Thailand. The cooking is bright and bold, perhaps nowhere more so than in the marvelous and complex soups and the vivid papaya salad (made to order). Even pad Thai is transformed from a gloppy noodle dish into a small symphony of flavor.

Mood: The multi-room setting once housed a Greek taverna, and the rustic-chic appointments aren’t an ideal match for the restaurant’s vision of quick-serve Thai street food. The giant olive-oil bottles of fish sauce that sit on the tables feel almost comical. Then again, the atmosphere is cozy, and when the place is packed on weekends, it’s lively but not loud.

Best for: Food adventurers.

Best dishes: Papaya salad; pad Thai; hot-and-sour squid; a crispy frittata of mussels with green curry; Floating Market Noodle Soup, sweet and funky and sour and incendiary; drunken noodles.

Insider tips: Don’t hold out for the desserts—none are worth the calories, even those made that morning.

Service: ••

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants 

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews