This 23-year-old dining room, painted sea-foam green and crammed with house plants, takes a more rustic approach to Thai cuisine than its glitzy sister restaurant, Duangrat’s. When it comes to starters, focus on dishes you won’t find on many competitors’ menus. A ruddy, chili-spiked pork-belly-and-tomato dip—a Thai riff on Bolognese—is served with sliced cucumbers and puffed pork rinds. One set of ground-pork-filled dumplings trades traditional skins for sweet lychee bulbs. Bigger plates bring fiery drunken noodles and curries that are both velvety and searing, and the red-curry roast pork lives up to its can’t-miss reputation.
Where you can get it: 5892 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; 703-671-4222
Also good: Fried-catfish salad; shrimp-and-pork dumplings; fried cod with garlic-chili sauce; roast pork with five spice, pickled ginger, and chili vinaigrette; fried duck with red chilies.