Do you have a little place that you frequent where you are amazed at how empty it is? The type of place that gets no write-ups in our local papers, places no ads, and survives god only knows how? I'd love to hear about it, maybe help keep it afloat.
I've seen too many of my favorite places go under, like Khan's Garden on Rainier, where I was addicted to pho before I'd ever heard the term (and I still haven't had better). Currently, there is at least one restaurant whose loss would pretty much devastate me, so I urge everybody to go try:
Vieng Thong - 2820 MLK Jr Way South (near McClellan)
Laotion food is just enough like Thai to provide a similar depth of flavors, but offers some interesting twists. The sticky rice is a major difference. Served in intricately woven little baskets, you gingerly scoop a mound out with your fingers, then mold lumps of it into bite-size morsels to dip into their incredible eggplant/green bean curry (gaeng phet #40) or the dressing on their green papaya salad (som tum #20 - it's the best I've ever had). Their noodle dishes are rather sweet, and don't have the same consistency as Thai noodles; I've felt ambivalent about them. But their whole-fish preparations are wonderful. Their rice alone is reason enough to head there on a regular basis. I've had crummy Laotion in Portland, and disappointing sticky rice at Racha, so as far as I'm concerned, Vieng Thong sets the standard.
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