Food

100 Best Restaurants 2012: Minh’s

Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining

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This Vietnamese restaurant in Clarendon is an antidote to the unimaginative renditions of Asian food that proliferate and to the comfort food that has become a default setting at many restaurants. A meal here is a chance to recalibrate and restore the senses.

Minh’s is nicer and comfier than many of the holes-in-the-wall in Falls Church’s Eden Center, the area’s de facto Little Vietnam. But that’s just a bonus. Our enthusiasm is for the intensity of flavors coming from Anh Nguyen’s kitchen. You shouldn’t have to shell out a small fortune for a restaurant to provide a memory to hold onto.

What to get: Shrimp-and-yam patties; bun cha, charred pork meatballs in spicy fish sauce; Hanoi-style sizzling catfish with dill and mint; clay pots of pork or catfish; lemongrass-marinated short ribs; Vietnamese coffee; tempura-fried bananas.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

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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.