Thai & Laotian / $ / 6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church
D.C. claims the eating is better in the city, but until Seng Luangrath opened a restaurant in Columbia Heights late last year, Falls Church alone had the joy of her Laotian dishes. Besides the spicy, salty, bright, savory, all-around-amazing crispy rice salad, nam khao, which you should order on every visit, there’s lots else to love. Strips of beef, thick like a breakfast sausage but chewy like jerky, offer notes of lemongrass, ginger and black pepper. A fried watercress salad with fried shrimp and a funky, sweet dressing of tamarind give the health-food connotations of salad a jolt. Bangkok Golden stocks a deep repertoire of dishes, from curries and chopped meats served with sticky rice to big bowls of noodles in broths both spicy and herbaceous. This little shop tucked into a strip mall is suburban eating at its best.