5892 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041
Neighborhood: Falls Church
Open Sunday through Thursday 11:30 to 10, Friday and Saturday 11 to 10:30.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Not Needed
Lychee "dumplings"; chicken soup with galangal; shrimp-and-pork dumplings; fried catfish salad with chili and lime; roast pork in red curry; grilled half chicken with lemongrass; coconut-tapioca pudding.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
Why go: This kitchen honors northeastern Thailand, where spicy is more prized than sweet (rice helps ease the burn). And though Rabieng is considered more rustic than its sibling, Duangrat’s, you’ll still find gracious servers in blue-and-gold silks, a serene dining room, and desserts presented in martini glasses.
What to get: Warm spiced cashews; “dumplings” of lychees filled with pork; chili-heavy versions of shrimp cocktail, catfish salad, and green-papaya salad; fried cod in relatively mellow red-chili sauce; roast pork in bracing red curry; pad Thai; sliced mango with sweet sticky rice; Kahlúa Eskimo, a coffee sundae with whipped cream and roasted peanuts.
Best for: Quiet, quick dinners; weekend lunch (there’s a fun Thai dim sum menu).
Insider tip: Diners sensitive to spiciness can ask the kitchen to tone it down—or turn it up.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here