100 Best Restaurants 2012: Nava Thai Noodle and Grill

From soulful bistros to high-gloss steakhouses, there's lots of good eating in DC, Maryland, and Virginia


There are moments in nearly every meal here–a soup that activates every taste sensor, a salad of Technicolor intensity–that make you think you’ve never really eaten Thai food before. Suchart and Ladavan Srigatesook don’t cut corners. Only when an order is placed do they begin hand-grinding the condiments for their spicy papaya salad or assembling their Floating Market Noodle Soup layer by careful layer. The menu covers a lot of territory, including street foods that conjure a stroll among the night-market stalls of Thailand’s big cities.

What to get: Country-pork salad tossed with onion, cilantro, and crushed, toasted rice and drizzled with chili-lime sauce; crispy battered mussels with red-chili dipping sauce; pork kaprow; a superb pad Thai; shrimp in zesty garlic-and-white-pepper sauce.

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

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.