Cheap Eats 2011: Bangkok 54
Comments () | Published August 16, 2011
Cheap Eats (2010) Cheap Eats 2011
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.

This Thai mainstay, with its potted orchids and wine list touting Cava and Côtes du Rhône, seems almost as stylish as a José Andrés restaurant. And although it doesn't bill itself as a small-plates spot, we've had the most success lately treating it as one. The kitchen has mastered the chili/lime-juice/herb balance that makes cool salads of green papaya and larb gai (ground chicken) sing. Supplement them with such appetizers as the slender, wonton-wrapped firecracker shrimp and the cucumber-and-scallion-filled duck rolls. The curries and sautés are fine but don't quite have the finesse of the starters. One exception is the crispy duck tossed with basil --a dish that the restaurant rightly hypes as its signature.

Also good: Shrimp salad with lemongrass; crispy fish with green mango; crispy pork belly with chili and basil; coconut ice cream.   

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 08/16/2011 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews