Bangkok Golden Thai Restaurant, web site, 6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church, VA, right next to Hong Kong Palace (this is NOT in Eden Center), 703-533-9480 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | Yelp]
(July 16, 2012: This is an update of my previous review.)
(Online maps do not always accurately show the location. The actual address is 6395 Seven Corners Center, in the Seven Corners Shopping Center, but using 6222 Leesburg Pike does show the approximate location. This place is on the southeast end of the Seven Corners Shopping Center, between Leesburg Pike and Rt. 50, about 2/3rds of a mile due south of Eden Center, facing Sears, that includes Michaels and Shoppers Food Warehouse on the Leesburg Pike side, and Fortune and Home Depot on the Rt. 50 side. The Google link does show a good map.)
It’s called Thai, and they do have Thai food (including a mediocre buffet), but there is also a separate Laotian menu – which you have to ask for — and it is a stunner. This is by far the best Laotian food I’ve had. Everything is excellent but I think the Nam Khao is one of the best dishes in this whole area, get two of them. You can even get the dishes which don’t sound too interesting. Use the dipping sauces a lot. The chicken on a skewer is good, as are the small dishes to start and the soups (Kanthi) and the tilapia. There is also now a new Laotian menu, kind of a secret menu behind the secret menu, no English. Insist they show it to you. Tell them to bring you the best things from that menu. The bottom line is that this place just got a whole lot better and it was great to begin with. Sticky rice too, of course.
Found your blog after I was directed by a good friend to read your book (which was awesome – made me want to travel everywhere and eat everything). We checked out this restaurant, and man, the Laotian food was spectacular! Thanks for recommending it!
If I can make one recommendation to readers – ask for a server named Brian. The two times we’ve gone there, we’ve given him carte blanche to order whatever and he has hooked us up. He got us this dried catfish dish (off menu) that was awesome. The tilapia and nam khao are also great.
Mr. Cowen is right, this place is fantastic! I went with a small group of people on an early Saturday night, noting how most if not all the other patrons were eating from the Thai buffet. My brother, who was there with me, had been once before and remembered a few of the kinds of dishes they loved from the Laotian specials menu (transliterated by not translated). The staff was friendly, accommodating, and seemed excited that we were willing and eager to have some honest Laotian dishes. We asked for their advice, especially necessary with the specials menu, and our meal was among the best I’ve had in Virginia: cheap, tasty, not watered down for white people, and plentiful. Just experiment and show your interest in getting the real things. A good sign: asking for the spicy version of something is VERY spicy!