Details

Present

6678 Arlington Blvd.
Falls Church, VA 22042

703-531-1881

Neighborhood: Falls Church

Cuisines: Vietnamese

Opening Hours:
Open for lunch Monday through Thursday 11 to 3. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5 to 10. Open for lunch and dinner Friday and Saturday 11 to 11, Sunday 11 to 10.

Price Range: Inexpensive

Dress: Informal

Noise Level: Intimate

Reservations: Not Needed

Website: http://www.presentcuisine.com

Best Dishes:
A hash of clams served in a giant sesame shell; any of the masterful soups, including the Sour Spicy Seafood; a rendition of “shaky” beef called Cow on the Open Field, tossed in a complex and zingy sauce; banh xeo.

Cheap Eats 2010: Present

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: Unlike many places in the nearby Eden Center, this Vietnamese oasis pays as much attention to decor as it does to food. The charm of the serene setting and complex dishes is in the details: a stone waterfall, bamboo latticework, intricately carved vegetable garnishes, and house-made sauces.

What to get:
Prawn-and-pork spring rolls with a wrapper of house-made rice paper; Cow on the Open Field, tender nubs of beef over watercress; banh xeo, a rice-flour crepe with seafood, pork, and bean sprouts; crisply roasted duck with tamarind sauce; Tolling in the Morning, a pork-fat-enriched soup with tofu and scallions; vermicelli bun with grilled pork.

Best for:
Learning the ins and outs of Vietnamese cuisine—the servers will tell you how to wrap, sauce, and dip everything on the table.

Insider tip:
Waiters have a list of dishes they always recommend, such as green-papaya salad and crabmeat with noodles and vegetables. Don’t hesitate to veer off the beaten track.

>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here