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Vietnamese/Thai Bethesda area

Axsanb Mar 4, 2008 07:43 AM

Going to be in the Bethesda MD area for the next couple of days. Any suggestions for where we can find some good Pho or Thai. Also BBQ in the area.

From OC CA so we are familiar with good Pho.


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    MartyL RE: Axsanb Mar 4, 2008 09:02 AM

    Sorry, Axsanb, but there's no really good, let alone California-quality, Thai or Vietnamese (nor BBQ) in the Bethesda area. Plenty of serviceable, mediocre stuff, but I assume you wouldn't bother with that.

    If you'll have a car, we can steer you to great Thai (in Wheaton) or Vietnamese (in Falls Church -- or, for Pho, in Rockville or Annandale) elsewhere.

    In Bethesda proper, there's nothing extraordinary, except Jaleo on a good night (more often than not, but risky); Passage to India; and decent Peruvian chicken at Chicken on the Run. Faryab is supposed to be good for Afghan (I haven't been).

    1. j
      Just Visiting RE: Axsanb Mar 4, 2008 12:46 PM

      Nonsense. There are good Thai and Vietnamese options. For Vietnamese, I would go with Green Papaya. The decor is slightly over-the-top, but the food is always wonderful. For Thai, we like Sweet Basil - very pleasant place with great food - we had a terrific meal there on Thanksgiving! = but I am told that Nark Kara Thai is good, too. I would avoid Tara Thai. I think it is mediocre.

      As for pho, well, not so much. The best pho on the MD side of the river is Pho VN 1, up Rte 1 in Beltsville. It is the best pho I've ever had. Magic food. But Bethesda...not really.

      1. m
        MarcDC RE: Axsanb Mar 4, 2008 01:47 PM

        I highly recommend you take a 10min drive down Rockville to Ba Le for Vietnamese food. Their Banh Mi, Pho, Spring Rolls, and Entrees are all fantastic and the owner, Christian, couldn't be nicer. It doesnt look like much from the outside but dont let that fool you; it has relatively trendy decor on the inside and they do a lot of business.

        The sweet drinks and foods behind the glass counter at the front are also great (their iced coffee is magic)

        Contact Info:

        Ba Le

        842-A Rockville Pike
        Rockville, MD 20852

        4 Replies
        1. re: MarcDC
          reiflame RE: MarcDC Mar 4, 2008 03:56 PM

          Is Ba Le open again? I went a few weeks ago and it was closed for remodeling. I do highly recommend it as well. If you're going up Rockville way I'd also recommend Pho 75 for well, pho.

          I'll also second the Green Papaya recommendation on the caveat that the service can be variable. The food's great though, but a little more expensive than you standard "ethnic" restaurant.

          1. re: reiflame
            MarcDC RE: reiflame Mar 5, 2008 01:41 PM

            yes it is open again, i was there this past weekend. still as good as ever.

          2. re: MarcDC
            Just Visiting RE: MarcDC Mar 5, 2008 04:52 AM

            I've been to Ba Le only once and it was very good, but I'd love to know how you get from Bethesda to Rockville in 10 minutes. Even on a quiet Sunday morning, with dry roads, that would be quite a feat!

            1. re: Just Visiting
              MarcDC RE: Just Visiting Mar 5, 2008 01:41 PM

              haha, ok, maybe it's a tad longer than 10 min.... but it's def a very short drive.

          3. j
            julesk RE: Axsanb Mar 4, 2008 04:58 PM

            My personal fave for Thai is Nark Kara Thai on Cordell Ave. For Vietnamese, try Green Papaya on Elm St. Can't think of any BBQ in Bethesda, unless you want REAL casual. If so, Chesapeake Chicken and Rockin Ribs on Wisconsin is the place. The only other one I can think of is Rocklands in Glover Park on Wisconsin Ave. It's very good.

            Have fun!

            2 Replies
            1. re: julesk
              Chocolatechipkt RE: julesk Mar 4, 2008 05:27 PM

              I like Green Papaya too!

              And I second what someone else said above ... skip Tara Thai.

              1. re: julesk
                jeb RE: julesk Mar 5, 2008 05:17 AM

                Chesapeake Chicken and Ribs is long gone....

              2. Mister Big RE: Axsanb Mar 5, 2008 04:24 AM

                Bangkok Garden on St. Elmo is pretty good for Thai.

                1. s
                  sweth RE: Axsanb Mar 5, 2008 05:53 AM

                  I've been pretty happy w/ Thai Corner on Bethesda Ave; it's not as good as Ruan Thai or Thai Square (both out in the 'burbs, and widely considered the gold standards for local Thai), but it's not bad at all, especially if you can convince them that you don't want Americanized Thai. (Unless that's what you do want, of course...)

                  Thai Corner Restaurant
                  4733 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD

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