Cheap Eats 2015: Bangkok Golden

Where we go for some Lao hot, not Thai hot or medium heat dishes.
Cheap Eats 2015: Bangkok Golden
Roast quail appetizer. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Some of the fire—in terms of both energy and the kitchen’s famously strong hand with the chilies—has left this strip-mall gem and is now concentrated at owner Seng Luangrath’s Columbia Heights restaurant, Thip Khao. But her Falls Church original is still worth your time. You’ll be given the once-secret Lao menu right away (don’t even look at the Thai lineup or the buffet), and it’s a veritable wonderland of flashbulb-bright flavors and textures. Cobble together a shareable feast, including a rich salad of ground duck with plenty of fresh mint and kaffir lime, steamed rice paste in banana leaves, and sweetly marinated pork-neck skewers. And if you do like a good scorching, make sure to say you want dishes cooked Lao hot, not Thai hot or medium.

Cuisine: Laotian

Where you can get it: 6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church; 703-533-9480

Also good: Crispy-rice salad with ham; lettuce wraps with grilled tilapia, noodles, and galangal; steamed tilapia in curry paste; spicy cucumber salad.

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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.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.