Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yum Yum: Pok Pok

You've probably heard of Pok Pok.  Rave after rave after rave sort of scared me.  Sure, the chef won a James Beard Award, but...Northern Thai by a white guy?  Color me skeptical.  Maybe even worried.  You know how I get about mangled Asian food.

Would the welcoming cat's raised left paw (and Mr. Monkey's following suit) bring us luck?
My friend Nanette assured me the place was legit delish.  We met her family for lunch.  While the restaurant doesn't have a children's menu, it does have high-chairs and booster seats.  Bring your well-behaved tots with daring appetites!  Little Em was an absolute angel during our meal!  Bravo to Nanette's excellent parenting!

Naam krachiap -- Thai-style iced hisbiscus drink ($3.50).
Naam manao -- fresh-squeezed Thai-style limeade ($3.50).
Cha yen -- Thai iced tea with evaporated milk ($3.50).
Delightful drinks galore.

Muu paa kham waan -- boar collar meat rubbed with garlic, coriander root and black pepper, glazed with soy and sugar, grilled over charcoal and served with chilled mustard greens and a spicy chili-lime-garlic sauce ($13.95).
Smoky and garlicky meat, meat, meat.  What's not to like?

Phat si ew -- fresh local wide rice noodles, Carlton Farms pork, Chinese broccoli, egg, and black soy sauce stir-fried in a smoking hot wok ($9.50).
Hey, the kid had to eat something.  Skip if you're not with a kid.  You can get a ton of more interesting stuff.

Ike's spicy Vietnamese fish sauce wings -- half dozen fresh whole natural chicken wings marinated in fish sauce and sugar, deep fried, tossed in caramelized Phu Quoo fish sauce and garlic and served with Vietnamese table salad ($13.95).
The #1 reason to visit Pok Pok!  They are giant and spicy and finger-lickin' fantastic.  They live up to the hype.  I am a believer.  Praise the wings.  Amen.

Sunny's yam wun sen -- spicy and sour glass noodle salad with naem (housemade sour pork sausage), ground pork, Chinese celery, pickled garlic, Thai chilies, shallots, and carrot with lime, fish sauce, garlic oil dressing ($12.50).
Tangy and packed with porkiness.  Mmm.

Papaya pok pok -- spicy green papaya salad with tomatoes, long beans, Thai chili, lime juice, tamarind, fish sauce, garlic, palm sugar, dried shrimp, and peanuts made to order in a pok pok (mortar and pestle) ($8.95).
If you're a longtime reader, you know I don't like papaya salad, but we couldn't go to Pok Pok and not order the pok pok, right?  Objectively speaking, this was an excellent version.

Pok pok affogato -- condensed milk ice cream drowned in a shot of Vietnamese coffee served with a Chinese fried donut ($7.50).
An Asian place with good desserts!  What's next?  A unicorn in the bathroom?

Coconut ice cream sandwich -- coconut-jackfruit ice cream served on a sweet bun with peanuts, sweet sticky rice, condensed milk, and chocolate syrup ($7).
You guys.  YOU GUYS.  OMG.  WHUT.  Yeah.  This happened.  Crazy.  Awesome.

I was wary, but I fell in love with those wings.  You will, too.


  1. I'm so glad you captured this for posterity! It was such a fun time with you guys, as always, and an amazing meal from Pok Pok, as always. xoxo

  2. What Nanette's kid got is my go-to thai restaurant order.

    ::hangs head in shame::

    1. It's ok. LOL. There's nothing wrong with it. It's often the best thing at run-of-the-mill Thai places. Just don't do it at a Northern Thai place. ;)

  3. Yummmmmm! Next time you're here, we can go to Whiskey Soda Lounge (and ten other places.) They have some smaller dishes that Pok Pok doesn't offer that are delicious.

    1. I need to visit for at least a month to get through half of our list!

  4. Replies
    1. I keep getting proven wrong re white folks making Asian food!


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