100 Very Best Restaurants: #50 – Thip Khao/Padaek

Check out Thip Khao's Laotian happy hour for tasty cheap food and drinks. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Thip Khao/Padaek

3462 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20010
6395 Seven Corners Ctr
Falls Church, VA 22044

“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.

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.