Bangkok 54
Often excellent cooking paired with spiffy cocktails and a lounge-like setting.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published September 3, 2006
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Bangkok 54
Address: 2919 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
Phone: 703-521-4070
Neighborhood: Arlington
Cuisines: Thai
Opening Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday 11 to 10, and Friday through Saturday 11 to 11.
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Price Details: Appetizers $3.95 to $10.95; Entrees $6.95 to $12.95. Lunch special, $5.95.

June 2006 Cheap Eats

Too often the glitziness of Thai restaurants is in direct correlation to the blandness of what comes out of the kitchen. You don"t have to choose between great cooking and good looks at this family-run spot.

It's got an array of fruity martinis and single-malt Scotches and the feel of a stylish, low-lit lounge. But it isn't shy about flavor. "Fiery" and "spicy" are the adjectives of choice (the staff will tone down the heat if you ask). But many dishes are studies in hot and cool. Green-papaya salad, sprinkled with peanuts, fish sauce, and lime, is both refreshing and sweat-inducing. Mint and roasted-rice powder help soothe the burn from the grilled-beef salad. Catfish; shredded, quickly fried, and set atop a mango salad; almost melts in the mouth and leaves the fire on your tongue. Lusher preparations include pork belly, lined with ribbons of fat, and roasted duck, both sauteed with chilies and basil.

There are good renditions of red, green, and Mussaman curries, too. Don't miss dessert; especially the coconut ice cream, served in a hollowed coconut shell, and bua loi, balls of taro in a martini glass with coconut cream.

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Posted at 11:46 AM/ET, 09/03/2006 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews