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Green Papaya, Downtown Bethesda - Michael Phan and Anh Hong's Vietnamese on Elm Street near Bethesda Row - Closed


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alan7147 said:
Ironically, tonight I had the worst meal I have had in a long time. It was take out from Nam's, a Vietnamese place on Cordell Ave in Bethesda. Papaya salad had basil leaves that were not green but mostly brown. Grilled Pork with Vermicelli noodles was nasty. Overcooked tough pork over almost stale rice noodles. NASTY

I've always preferred Green Papaya for Viet food in that neighborhood. Fair warning -- the service can be somewhat, shall we say, abrupt.

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Anything in particular worh mentioning? thinking of trying this place out soon.

Sorry, nothing pops into mind, but I can't recall ever having been disappointed by a dish in 3 or 4 visits.

It's been a little over a year since we were last there.

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Anything in particular worh mentioning? thinking of trying this place out soon.

The one time we tried this place, the entrees came out RIGHT AFTER the appetizers, which has got to be one of my biggest dining peeves. It was so egregious (i.e. we had just started eating the appetizers), that my husband got up to complain to the manager, who took the entrees away and brought them out at the appropriate time. I don't recall now whether the entrees came back tasting re-heated, etc...in fact, my recollection was that the food was pretty good. Still, never been back.

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Brought in dinner from Green Papaya last night and I have to say that it exceeded my average expectations. I had the shredded green papaya salad topped with strips of spicy "beef jerky" and the GA KO XA which is chicken simmered in a caramel sauce with spicy lemongrass.

The papaya was very fresh and crispy and the dried beef had a nice kick to it. The chicken was very good as well and the caramel sauce was light and was not overpowered by the lemongrass addition.

This is definitely better than its Vietnamese neighbor, Nam's, which was one of my worst meals in recent memory.

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Brought in dinner from Green Papaya last night and I have to say that it exceeded my average expectations.  I had the shredded green papaya salad topped with strips of spicy "beef jerky"

I keep wondering why this place isn't busier. I had that salad for my dinner tonight. Mr P's dish of caramelized tofu and vegetables was good, too. And so is the mango ice cream.

I'm not saying Green Papaya is outstanding, but the three or four times I've been there I wonder what's keeping people away. It's a pleasant space, too. Maybe that's because unlike everywhere else we walked past tonight (Raku, the destination of choice; Levante, Austin Grill, Cafe Deluxe, Mama Lucia), it wasn't full of noisy families.

Overlooked and underrated, and easy to get into on a lovely Sunday evening.

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I seem to remember having dinner at "Green Papaya" in Redmon, Washington and walking past "Green Papaya" in Dallas one evening.  Is this by any chance, a chain?

I don't know. There's nothing visible suggesting that it is. Nor would I give a rat's ass if it was, as my favorite weekly restaurant is a chain, too. :)

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Brought in dinner from Green Papaya last night and I have to say that it exceeded my average expectations. I had the shredded green papaya salad topped with strips of spicy "beef jerky" and the GA KO XA which is chicken simmered in a caramel sauce with spicy lemongrass.

The papaya was very fresh and crispy and the dried beef had a nice kick to it. The chicken was very good as well and the caramel sauce was light and was not overpowered by the lemongrass addition.

This is definitely better than its Vietnamese neighbor, Nam's, which was one of my worst meals in recent memory.

I keep wondering why this place isn't busier. I had that salad for my dinner tonight. Mr P's dish of caramelized tofu and vegetables was good, too. And so is the mango ice cream.

I followed your advice and ordered the Gỏi Đu Đủ Khô Bò ($8), the green papaya salad with beef jerky, and the Đậu Hũ Khô Gừng ($12), the caramel tofu with ginger, scallions, and tomato sauce.

The papaya salad was a good version, although I can't imagine it was shredded on the spot since it arrived within two minutes of my order. The two chili-pepper rating for this dish is legitimate, as the numerous long slivers of beef jerky have quite a kick to them.

I didn't like the tofu as much, mainly because the sauce tasted a little ketchupy. It came alongside a scoop of jasmine, and a pile of (yawn) steamed broccoli which was cooked better than the normal semi-raw or cooked-into-mush versions.

It had been a couple years since I'd tried Green Papaya, and this reinforces my impression of it as a decent option if you're in that area (and when I say "that area," remember that you're right in the mix with Austin Grill, Jaleo, Raku, and other large restaurants on the same block).

One thing I didn't know is that the owners of Green Papaya also own Saigonique, which has been open for about a year in Shirlington.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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