Lakeside Asia Cafe is hidden away in a little shopping center in Reston. Little did I know that this little Asian gem was minutes from my office. I'd driven by it many times, even dined at the same shopping center for ages now and never paid the little Asian cafe much attention. It's a small place, with a tiny, four-seat bar and probably ten to 15 tables max, but the food has big spicy flavors that I always enjoy. I've tried many of the dishes from the various sections on the menu, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, and I've never had a bad meal.
For starters, definitely try the spicy beef jerky. No one at the table would share it with me, since it doesn't look like the most appetizing appetizer in the world, but that just meant there was more for me. It's got incredible flavor! Although, not horribly spicy, I'm sure they'd kick it up a bit if you ask them to.
My favorite entree is any Kung Pao dish. I usually go with chicken, which is always tender and not fatty or chewy. In a similar manor to the kung pao that I get at Joe's Noodle House, it's got some kick to it and plenty of garlic. Chicken Rangoon is another star on the menu with crispy snow peas and tender dark chicken meat that's had all the fat removed from it. You also can't go wrong with the curries from the Thai section of the menu. Yellow, red, green, they're all good. The creamy yellow curry is definitely my favorite, although I wish it had a little more kick to it.
The prices on the menu are very reasonable. Whole Peking duck is the most expensive thing on the menu at $36, but everything else is between $7 and $15. Lunch portions are available for everything, but are still fairly large making it an ideal lunch stop. Definitely give it a try for lunch if you're in the area!