As you might guess from the name, Bangkok Golden does serve standard dishes from Central Thailand, both from a buffet and a la carte. But the greater draw is the less commonly seen, sometimes fiery food of Laos, a close relative of the Isan cuisine found in Thailand's northeast. As Chowhounds have observed, these dishes can be tempered to suit your table; the servers are very accommodating of first-timers.
Shown: nam khao ($8.95), a crispy, pork-riddled rice salad; sai oua ($8.95), spicy and seemingly fresh-made sausage inflected with lemongrass and dill; ping kai ($8.95), grilled chicken; koi pah ($10.95), a tilapia ceviche (ours was the cooked version); mieng muang luang ($12.95), rice paste to be wrapped in lettuce with lemongrass, ginger, tomato, chili, and peanuts; orm beef ($8.95), an eggplant-laden curry; and a (Thai) taro-and-tapioca dessert bathed in coconut milk.
6395 Seven Corners Center, Falls Church, Virginia
(Note: Bangkok Golden has three locations, but only this one offers the Laotian menu)