About Sugar Palm Thai
Candy-colored walls, high ceilings, and trendy light fixtures set the scene at this modern Thai dining room. Much of the food is similarly of the moment, though classics get attention, too. Roast duck layered with cucumber and green onion and tucked inside a pastry roll is a delicious nod to slider culture. Pork jerky is so good it doesn’t need its Sriracha dipping sauce to make it a hit. Frying is done with finesse, which means packets of rice-paper-wrapped shrimp and nuggets of tilapia tossed with lemongrass, chilies, cilantro, and lime are worthy bets. And the pad Thai is a well-balanced mix of umami-rich fish sauce, crunchy peanuts, and sublimely slippery noodles. Besides textbook sticky rice with fresh mango for dessert, another sweet is worth considering: ultra-crispy fried banana with ice cream.
Where you can get it: 5580 Vincent Gate Ter., Alexandria; 703-354-1077
Also good: Fried pork ribs; spicy fried rice with green chilies; grilled shrimp and fried eggplant with chu chee curry (red curry with coconut cream); duck curry with lychees; sliced steak with a dipping sauce of lime, chili, and toasted rice; shrimp in spicy tamarind broth.