About Laos in Town
About Eat Great Cheap 2019
This article is a part of Washingtonian’s Eat Great Cheap feature, our annual list of where to eat (and not break the bank) right now. Our food editors put together the best new restaurants around DC where you can find Detroit-style pizza, Japanese egg-salad sandwiches, chicken-nugget-filled tacos, and more—for $25 or less per person.
Nick Ongsangkoon, who also owns Soi 38, and chef Ben Tiatasin, formerly of Esaan, are Bangkok natives enchanted by the spicy, funky flavors of their neighboring Laos’s cuisine. Start with crunchy rolls wrapped in lettuce, lemongrass-laced pork sausage, or pickled-papaya salad. A whole fried rockfish hewed into crunchy, tamarind-glazed pieces is worth the splurge, though don’t underestimate modest-sounding dishes such as grilled chicken. The charcoal-kissed bird, dipped in vinegary chili sauce and paired with a cold beer, is transportive on the balmy patio.