Thai / $$ / 8110 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church
Resist the urge to order delivery pad thai from the closest restaurant. To ease into a more authentic experience, there’s Elephant Jumps’ version of pad see ew moo mug, here served with Chinese broccoli and a side of Thai long green pepper slices floating in vinegar. You’ll notice the difference in the wide and chubby noodles that, through a deathly hot pan, pick up lots of char and smoke. Those same browned noodles star in lad na moo mung and pop through the rich, slightly sweet brown gravy. Gang hung lay, a curry, reveals that distinct fruity-sweet tang of tamarind, plus a kick of ginger that enhances the slow-cooked chunks of pork shoulder.