Cheap Eats 2012: Bangkok Golden

Crispy rice salad. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Cheap Eats 2012

Thailand’s cuisine is easy to sample in these parts, but the bright, sharp flavors of land-locked Laos? Not so much. So while the Thai menu at this warmly hued cafe is tempting, the real draws are Laotian specialties such as a rice salad studded with ham and flavored with fish sauce or lettuce-leaf roll-ups of garlicky, tomato-laced rice paste with peanuts and scallions.

Lemongrass pork—for added richness, ask if the fatty neck cut is available—is a must, though it’s worth asking what’s best that day. The staff loves sharing kitchen secrets with adventurous diners.

Also good: Deep-fried curry puff; tilapia steamed in a banana leaf.

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 Petworth.