Pilin, web site, 116 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA, 703-241-5850, on Rt. 7, a tiny bit west of Rt. 29 (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Washingtonian | WaPo | City Paper | food-plan | openlist | Yelp | Gayot]
No surprises, but it delivers. Better than Tara Thai on Maple Avenue in Vienna. In any Thai place I recommend the Mee Grob.
There is a separate branch of this restaurant in the mall on Rt. 7 where Tower Records is located: 8385 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA, 703-556-9191 [openlist | Yelp] The Leesburg Pike branch is more of a lunch place, and not as good as Pilin, but it is certainly good enough to go to and enjoy. Cheaper and quicker as well. The place also has some Vietnamese specialties, which are good as well.
Between 1960 and 2006, the District’s population dropped from close to 800,000 to just 550,000, about 20 percent of whom live below the poverty line. High taxes, bad schools and expensive housing impelled people to leave for the suburbs, taking their businesses with them. Immigrants also began following the new opportunities — settling outside the city. During the same period, Tysons Corner went from a cow patch to a bunch of auto dealerships to a first-tier shopping and business center. Small wonder that would-be restaurateurs such as Nat Kittayapifon, the manager at Pilin, chose Tysons over the District. “We were the first Thai restaurant in Fairfax County 17 years ago,” he remembers. “Now I can count 10 on my fingers with no problem.”
“Ethnic Goes Exurban: Washington’s Sprawl, As Told Through Its Migrating Restaurants,” by Tyler Cowen, The Washington Post, September 3, 2006