Best of Falls Church 2004

Sarita's, moderate. This Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant is brighter and larger than most of its competitors. The food and service are good and the prices reasonable. A pair of tacos, pupusas, or enchiladas is $5.95, while more elaborate specialties range from $9.95 for the chicken stew to $17.95 for a combination of shrimp, croaker, and a small steak.

The Mexican appetizers of quesadilla and nachos served with chicken or beef are good. Even better is the yucca with pan-fried pork cubes, which are very tender. Among the main courses, the steaks are thin and generally cooked well-done despite entreaties to the contrary, but they are loaded with flavor. The zarzuela de marisco is a large bowl of seafood in a broth that includes white wine, tomatoes, garlic, and butter. The grilled Cornish hen and the pork chops sautéed with onions and tomatoes are good bets. The rice and refried beans are tasty, too.

Sarita's, 2794 Graham Rd.; 703-533-9448. Open daily for lunch and dinner.