Esaan Cuisine, web site, 1307 Old Chain Bridge Rd, McLean, VA, 703-288-3901 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [TripAdvisor | Don Rockwell | Ylp | McLean Connxn]
Another phenomenal northern Virginia restaurant, this one is food from Northeastern Thailand. I would describe this place as offering vivid flavors and full authenticity. You should get the vermicelli with fried mackerel (one of the best dishes around, period), the Kow Soi soup with noodles, and the fried chicken salad, for one of the best meals around, certainly tops in McLean. I tried a few other dishes and liked those too. One note: the prices are not super-cheap. They are entirely reasonable for the location and quality, but not the kind of steal that you might get from other places in this guide.
The fried chicken salad is the best.
Many of the dishes are so spicy my whole mouth was in pain for a good 20 to 30 minutes after I was finished. I recommend telling the restaurant you want medium or mild if not used to that level of spice.