8190 Strawberry Ln.
Falls Church, VA 22042
Neighborhood: Falls Church
Open daily 11 AM to 9:45 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Shrimp toast; rice-noodle crepes stuffed with minced wild mushrooms; roasted quail with lime-juice-and-pepper “dip”; lotus-root salad; beef-stuffed grape leaves; grilled-pork vermicelli; Vietnamese coffee; lime soda.
Appetizers, $3.50 to $9.50; entrées, $6.50 to $26.95.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly
With brightly colored art and flower arrangements that look like they've been lifted from the lobby of the St. Regis--one of the sisters is a florist--this is the most cheerfully pretty Vietnamese restaurant in the area. It also turns out some of the best renditions of the wide-ranging cuisine.
Salads, such as a platter of shredded green papaya, explode with limey tang and chili-fueled heat, while bowls of pho are eminently soothing. Nibbles from the fryer--crisp spring rolls; battered, shrimp-paste-slathered toast--make excellent shares. The more people at the table, the better: Portions are made for passing, and you'll get a wider variety of flavors. If there's a weak spot, it's the dishes that read like Chinese-takeout offerings.
What to get: A sauté of clams and minced pork with sesame-studded crackers; cured-beef salad; a bowl of cool vermicelli bun topped with grilled pork and a spring roll; shaky beef with lime/black-pepper dip; fried shrimp with the same dip; caramelized short ribs or pork ribs in a clay pot; house-made lime soda.
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.