Cheap Eats 2007: Viet Royale
Comments () | Published July 10, 2007
Viet Royale
Address: 6767 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church, VA 22044
Phone: 703-533-8388
Neighborhood: Falls Church
Cuisines: Vietnamese
Nearby Metro Stops: East Falls Church
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
The kitchen at this Eden Center mainstay is machinelike in its focus and speed. Even when the big dining room fills up, plates arrive minutes after they’re ordered, making for happy pileups at the table—inevitably, a waitress will warn you that you’ve ordered too much.

It’s hard not to. The range of dishes is beguiling—soups, hot pots, rice dishes, noodle casseroles—the flavors are big and bold, the heat is insinuating, and the dishes are satisfying while adhering to the cardinal virtues of Vietnamese cooking: brightness, balance, and finesse. Thin-sliced short ribs in black-pepper sauce is a fiery version of pepper steak. Bundles of sliced pork, shrimp, and sprouts poke out from crispy rice crepes. If there’s a weak link, it’s the stir-fries, though the Shaky Beef—cubes of soy-soaked meat tossed with tomato, onion, and pepper—is a delectable exception.

Good as these plates are—and they come with big bowls of steamed rice—all are improved by a splash of the house-made fish sauce. Best of all: heads-on prawns in sizzling caramelized coconut juice that is sweet without being cloying and delicate instead of heavy.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.
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Posted at 01:56 PM/ET, 07/10/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews