Do you know D.C.?
Get our free newsletter to stay in the know about local D.C.
Every single restaurant in the Eden Center has a weakness. Huong Viet has troubles with the fryer. Viet Royale struggles with its stir fries. Huong Que’s main problem seems to be its longevity and its ham-fisted attempts—think rose-colored tables as far as the eye can see—to cater to Anglos who prefer an elegant place to suck down their rice noodles. How else to explain the naysayers who think Huong Que ain’t all that anymore? To my mind, the Falls Church institution remains the model of consistency and quality. While chef Hoa Lai’s kitchen definitely has its strengths (the crispy sea bass with sweet-and-spicy black bean sauce may be the best Vietnamese dish anywhere), you can order from any part of the deep and wide menu without hesitation. I can’t help but think the restaurant’s impending move to Merrifield will only re-energize Huong Que. The eatery is expected to open at 8190 Strawberry Lane in May or June; the Lai family’s tiny deli, Song Que, currently located next to Huong Que, will take over the vacated space, instantly becoming the largest banh mi and bubble-tea outlet in the Eden Center, perhaps anywhere. The Lai family understands the America model of business perfectly—always look for ways to grow, but do it smartly.