100 Very Best Restaurants: #31 – Thip Khao/Padaek

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

What began as a secret Laotian menu inside Falls Church’s Bangkok Golden—recently renamed Padaek—is now a “food movement” for chef/owners Seng Luangrath and son Bobby Pradachith. The duo spread a doctrine of deliciousness for the fiery, pungent flavors of Laos. Newcomers can experiment with tamer dishes such as khao poon (red-curry noodle soup) or crunchy catfish showered in lemongrass, or go all-in for the “jungle menu” at Thip Khao. (Try dabbling in fried pig ears alongside a Scotch and soda, “the authentic Lao cocktail.”) Inexpensive.
Also great: Piing (grilled meats with spicy toasted-rice sauce); coconut-rice salad; Orm eggplant stew; pineapple-chili gelato (Thip Khao only).

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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.

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.