100 Very Best Restaurants: #77 – Esaan

Basil-and-tofu rolls, Crying Tiger steak, and fried rice at Esaan. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Esaan

1307 Old Chain Bridge Rd
McLean, VA 22101

Northeastern Thai cuisine has had a long moment here, thanks in large part to the fiery cooking at Little Serow in Dupont Circle. You don’t have to be a capsicum addict to love this narrow spot—the kitchen will adjust the spice level to your liking. The tangy, brightly flavored rewards are many, whether a mushroom salad heavy on lime and mint or a pretty platter arrayed with the components of dried-shrimp fried rice. Inexpensive.
Also great: Pork-shoulder salad; pork-cartilage soup; “Crying Tiger” steak; grilled Cornish game hen; sticky rice with coconut custard.

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 Petworth.

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.