About Thip Khao/Padaek
“Eating with your hands is a true symphony,” reads the check at the DC branch of these Laotian gems. Especially when dishes are so lovingly orchestrated. Mother-and-son chef team Seng Luangrath and Bobby Pradachith bred a #LaoFoodMovement in the area thanks to their cooking—which includes a new Tysons food-hall location and a forthcoming Shaw eatery. Their kitchens turn out dishes that can be thrillingly hot (spicy alligator laab, fermented-chili fried rice) or generous and soothing, such as curry noodle soups or crispy catfish wraps with pineapple sauce and heaps of fresh ginger and herbs. Menus and vibes vary by location; the flagship feels homier, while in DC you can bookend a meal with lemongrass-infused Campari cocktails and lychee Milk Cult ice cream. Inexpensive.