100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Bangkok Golden/Thip Khao

Cost:

Bangkok Golden is now called PADAEK, a Laotian fish sauce. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Chef Seng Luangrath makes no apologies when it comes to the spicy, pungent flavors of her native Lao cuisine. Of her two restaurants, Thip Khao in Columbia Heights is sleeker and more adventurous. Its “jungle” menu encourages diners to try odd bits like fried pig ears and grilled chicken hearts, and it doesn’t shy away from heat that elicits tears (the good kind). Meanwhile, Falls Church’s Bangkok Golden excels in fragrant eggplant-and-dill stews and spiced fish filets steamed in banana leaves. Both menus contain a lot of delicious overlap, including noodle soups, lime-and-herb-dressed larbsalads, and a can’t-miss crispy-rice dish with sour pork. Inexpensive to moderate.

Also great: Curry puffs; green-papaya salad; khao poon (coconut-curry noodle soup); gaeng som (spicy-sour lemongrass soup); fish lettuce wraps with pineapple-chili sauce; grilled pork neck (Thip Khao only).

Don’t Miss a Great New Restaurant Again: Get Our Food Newsletter


Questions or comments? You can reach us on Twitter, via e-mail, or by contacting the author directly:
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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.