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dinner prior to late night show at Avalon Theater tonight

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Lucky me! I scored the very last two tickets to the Buffy Musical sing-a-long pop culture fest tonight at the Avalon (5612 Conn Ave, NW) and need to eat beforehand.

I'm dragging along a VERY reluctant Mr. Baltoellen who really wants Vietnamese food beforehand, but it has to be good (well, better than we get in the Balto-area) and either near the theater or somewhere not too far away. The closer to the theater the better, but it can definitely be some place on the way, such as Silver Spring.

Oh, and it also needs to be a typically ethnic-divey kind of place.

If this is an impossible request, any really good (in an ethnic-divey sort of way) Asian, except Korean & Indian, will definitely be considered.

Many thanks for finding me good chow for this oh so special evening!

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  1. Ruan Thai in Wheaton is on your way if you get off 495 at university.

    1. This would only be about a 5-10 minute drive from the Avalon. There are a few restaurants in the immediate neighborhood, but those are Mexican, Italian, Greek and a diner.

      Green Papaya
      4922 Elm St.,

      Editorial Review
      By Tom Sietsema
      Washington Post Magazine
      Sunday, October 19, 2003

      ** (of four stars)

      Everywhere you look in this Vietnamese restaurant, there's something to catch the eye: handsome wall hangings, a tall banana tree fashioned from wood, mammoth vases, even a wall of water running over turquoise tiles in the bar. Softly lighted and treated to an eclectic soundtrack, the room would be an impressive place to seal a deal or woo a partner, though the prices are gentle enough to let you make Green Papaya a habit. The kitchen can encourage return engagements, too. Settle in with squid salad tossed with green papaya and red onion and sparked with fresh herbs, maybe, or grilled quail dipped in an accompanying sauce that prickles with black pepper. From the list of specials might come a light roll of Vietnamese sausage, chestnuts and dried shrimp bound in rice paper and served with black plum sauce. It would be easy to compose a little feast from just the appetizers, yet that would mean forgoing such pleasures as bo luc lac, a rib-sticker of stir-fried beef, onions and potato. The waiters in their smart orange jackets are unfailingly cordial, but can also be inattentive (some water, please? the bill?), and the flavors in the food could be a shade brighter, the cooking more polished. But the occasional overcooked rack of lamb with soggy snow peas is balanced by thin cigars of ground beef wrapped in vine leaves and dusted with fried onions and crushed peanuts. The odds are in your favor.

      1. The weather will be lovely tonight, so good night for it.

        I don't know what's on the Ct. Ave side of Chevy Chase, which is lame because I live there. However - and it's not a dive or anything ethnic (other then Italian)- I think Lia's off of Wisconsin is very good, especially if it's nice enough to sit outside.

        Worth a try since you're in the area!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jeserf

          Thanks for these suggestions....please keep 'em coming!

          1. re: baltoellen

            If you go to Lias, they have this fantastic lemon mascarpone/chicken/crispy panchetta pasta that everyone gets whenever I go. I'd recommend sitting in the bar section, though, because I believe you can eat the main food there but not the other way around - the bar has burgers, sandwiches, and awesome homemade chips.

            And they have fantastic gelato/sorbet made fresh.
            it's super good.