Vientian Cafe

Hidden in a residential neighborhood that requires Google Maps or a local to navigate, Vientian Cafe is worth seeking out for Laotian dishes unadulterated by the need to please outsiders: Vibrant jeos, pastes of chiles, dried meats and spices that you eat with balls of sticky rice. Larb, or salads of chopped meats, herbs and toasted rice powder that can be spicy enough to sear the inner lining of your stomach. Crisp, scored links of Lao sausage perfumed with lemongrass and galangal. If you spend more than $10 a person on dinner, you've ordered too much.