Food

100 Best Restaurants 2009: Nava Thai Noodle and Grill

No. 33: Nava Thai Noodle and Grill

Cuisine: The area’s best, most authentic Thai cooking, with made-to-order dishes that reproduce the fresh, full-bodied flavors of Thailand’s popular market stalls.

Mood: Owners Ladavan and Suchart Srigatesook recently hauled their woks across the parking lot to the space that housed Taverna Kefi. It doesn’t yet feel like home—Kefi’s tabletop olive-oil bottles are now filled with fish sauce—but it’s several times bigger.

Best for: Thai-food purists who complain about Western-tailored dishes that are too sweet and not spicy enough.

Best dishes: A pungent papaya salad; a kind of frittata of crispy mussels; the area’s best pad Thai; lard na, a stir-fry of broad noodles with broccoli; drunken noodles; Panang curry with pork; Floating Market Soup—sweet, sour, hot, and rich; hot-and-sour squid salad with celery; a grilled half chicken with sticky rice and tamarind sauce.

Insider tips: The heavily fortified soups, the heart of the menu, hold up surprisingly well in takeout.

Service: ••

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

 

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.