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New Laotian restaurant opens in Cherrydale, replacing a Japanese eatery

A new Laotian restaurant has moved into Cherrydale.

Tuna Restaurant opened in early September at 3813 Langston Blvd, two doors down from historic Cherrydale Hardware. It’s taking over the former space of Maneki Neko Express.

This is the owner Sak Vong’s first restaurant, he told ARLnow via email, and he believes it’s the only Laotian eatery in Arlington. A quick internet search backs up this claim, with the closest other Laotian restaurant being in Falls Church.

Vong said the aim is to serve modern versions of traditional Laotian cuisine like “flying Lao noodles” and Laotian sushi. He also said he envisioned a “revitalization” of that section of Cherrydale.

Laotian cuisine, similar in some ways to its neighbors Thailand and Vietnam, is gaining popularity here in America. Meals typically revolve around sticky rice, larb, and papaya salad.

Sushi restaurant Maneki Neko Express opened in 2015, as a companion to its original location in Falls Church. The Falls Church restaurant remains open.

ARLnow has reached out to Maneki Neko about when and why it closed its Cherrydale location but has yet to hear back.

There have been several relatively recent openings and closings in Cherrydale.

Across the street from Tuna, Gaijin Ramen Shop closed several weeks ago after seven years of business citing the reason as “irrecoverable business losses” due to the pandemic. Around the corner is long-time local Italian restaurant Pines of Florence, which reopened in that location about ten months ago. A half block away is an Uyghur restaurant Bostan, which opened about a year ago.

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