Pok Pok – Portland – Fish Sauce Wings Will Be Your New Addiction

22 Jul

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No Fooddouche trip to PDX would be complete without a visit to its most famous restaurant of the last few years, Pok Pok. Pok Pok is another example of an emerging genre: white guys making Asian food. So Asian food is the new jazz. Andy Ricker is said white guy, and he is churning out the best Thai food I’ve had.

There’s almost always a long line outside since they don’t take reservations. They have a Whiskey Soda Lounge across the street, so that’s a good place to cool your heels if you have a long wait. You can even skip the hassle altogether and get the signature Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings and drinking vinegars here.

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The place is a couple buildings, part Craftsman house, part aluminum siding covered patio. The ramshackle feel (I think) is meant to evoke Thai street food and Pok Pok’s own origins as a food cart.

Here’s the Chiangmai sausage dish.

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And the wings that built an empire.

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I’m no Thai food expert, but I’ve eaten a few times at Lotus of Siam in Vegas and Jitlada in LA — the two restaurants often talked of as the best Thai places in America. Pok Pok is similar in having very strong flavors, turning the dial up on sweet and sour and spicy. But here you are served by hipster waiters and it is organized as small plates. I like Pok Pok best because the ingredients seem better sourced and the flavors are more consistent. Maybe I just feel that way because it’s a more polished experience. Or maybe I just fell for those ridiculous wings.

Pok Pok PDX
3226 SE Division Street,
Portland Oregon
503 232 1387

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