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!
Lakeside Asia Cafe
11130J South Lakes Drive
Reston, VA 20191
The first question I have that really has nothing to do with this review is this...Why do Thai restaurants feel that they have to put the word "Thai" in their names for people to know they are a Thai restaurant. Anyway...just a pet peeve I think.
Neisha Thai just moved in last month up the street from us on Wisconsin Ave by the new Best Buy. To be honest, when we first saw that a Thai place was moving in, we were disappointed. The last thing this area needed was another Thai place. But at least another mattress store didn't move in. Jandara is right down the street and I know that eventually Jandara will shut down because Neisha will steal all of their business. Then we'll have another empty building in the neighborhood that the asinine neighborhood associations won't allow to be filled (see this article). Seriously, don't people have anything better to do with their time? Rant over, back to the review.
So Amy and I walked up to Neisha last Sunday to try it. We were dressed pretty casual and so was everyone else. Looking around I saw a lot of AU students and other people from the area. The restaurant is designed well with two levels, so there is plenty of seating. We sat at the small bar while we waited and ordered a couple beers until the hostess took us downstairs when the table was ready. It was prime dinner hours and there was only a 10 minute wait.
Looking at the menu, Amy's first thought was, "Looks like another Tara Thai clone." I was thinking the same thing. The menu had all the standard Thai dishes that every other Thai restaurant has in the area - they might be named slightly different, but they are the same.
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