In a city saturated with Thai restaurants, here’s one with a twist. A bit off the beaten path close to where MLK hits Rainier, Viengthong offers a mixed menu of Thai and Laotian fare.
Sure, you can get pad Thai here, but you shouldn’t. This is a place to sample some specialties from Laos. We especially recommend the perfect trio: barbecued chicken and som tam (green papaya salad), which are the perfect accompaniments to the white sticky rice which comes in cute little bamboo baskets. Regional specialties from Northern Thailand are also stars here. Make sure to try any of the larb—salads of ground meat with fish sauce, chili, and mint.
Despite some token colorful decorations, Viengthong is a bit dingy. The workers, who seem somewhat reluctant to be there, add to the dark mood. One of our panelists has made it a mission to try to get the waitress with the floor-length hair to smile. Mission unaccomplished. But the food will make you smile—especially if you come with an open mind to spice, sourness, fermented shrimp paste, and even crab shells (if you don’t know what we mean, try to get your hands on some authentic tam mak hoong with crab).
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