Cheap Eats 2015: Thai Square

Some restaurants get better with age, but even more don’t—part of what makes this 19-year-old restaurant from Bangkok native Sunthorn Rojural remarkable. The minimalist room doesn’t look tired, and the kitchen continues to produce plates that are bracingly spicy and fresh. Appetizers shine. Start with herb-flecked fishcakes; a numbingly hot salad of ground pork and crunchy pig skin, ginger, and lime; or tender squid tossed with lemongrass, mint, and chilies. Don’t necessarily skip more traditional dishes—the green-curry chicken is near perfect—though adventurers can also do well with the likes of pork-knuckle stew served with a heap of herbs and pickled lettuce.

Cuisine: Thai

Where you can get it: 3217 Columbia Pike, Arlington; 703-685-7040

Also good: Steamed pork-and-shrimp dumplings; crispy squid with basil; eggplant with bean curd; Floating Market Noodle Soup.

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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.