I have a real affinity for Cheng's at 20921 Davenport Dr, Sterling - 703-450-0439.
Most listings have it as "Cheng's Oriental Restaurant," but that might scare you off with visions of tikis and pineapples - there's a real chef there, and some fairly daring efforts in a direction entirely different from China Star - I never thought Chinese dishes would have tomatoes or zucchini, but they can here and it works!
As usual, venture off the path of the "old wheezes" for something eye-opening - or settle in to the familiar and see what freshness and care in cooking can do to liven up what you had given up as hopelessly ordinary. Try the hot & sour soup for instance - it has a clarity of taste and a careful balance of flavor that lets every element in it shine - no "vinegar and hot pepper sludge" with this hot & sour!
I don't recall any real rarities on the menu (it's been awhile since I was there last) but my abiding impression is that the "usual" is not usual when approached with such skill.
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