A red neon sign in the window advertises pho, which is slightly misleading. The beef noodle soups at this brightly lit, bustling Eden Center eatery are exceptional, yes, but the facade could just as easily publicize the excellent bánh xèo (egg crepe) or bun (vermicelli noodle salads). The kitchen excels at a variety of dishes, and the menu’s “house special” section is a wise place to start. That bean-sprout-stuffed egg crepe is a must, crisp on the surface yet cloud-light and studded with sweet shrimp and pork. Like many dishes here, it comes with a garden’s worth of Thai basil, tatsoi, mint, mustard greens, and other herbs. Cha ca thang long is another good bet—the turmeric-hued fish arrives on a sizzling platter with piles of fresh dill and ribbons of still-caramelizing onions.
Where you can find it: 6795 Wilson Blvd., Falls Church; 703-538-5289
Also good: Shrimp-and-pork garden rolls; bun cha Hanoi (Northern-style grilled pork with vermicelli noodles); house-special pho; shaky beef…