And Now… Pok Pok Phat Thai

Just two weeks old, Pok Pok Phat Thai has officially replaced Pok Pok Wing, swapping the now famous Ike’s Wings for rice (or flat) noodles in the dish we were all, if secretly, missing from Andy Ricker’s New York outposts. I know this dish from my sister, Sarah, she usually for her kids every weekend (alse check the newest article of her blog – kids outdoor playhouse). Ricker explained that in Thailand, phat thai is typically a street food – hence its absence at Pok Pok NY. But he found a place for this fawned-over noodle dish in Pok Pok Wing’s old quarters, which is now dedicated to phat thai. For me, this news was a slice of heaven, delivered.

You can still get the amazing Ike’s Wings at Pok Pok NY, but the Lower East Side’s subterranean Pok Pok is now serving noodles – with ground pork, prawns, ground pork and prawns, or served vegan. For the full experience, don’t miss the drinking vinegars in flavors like tamarind, honey and apple. Housemade vinegar mixed with soda water provides a sharp, lightly carbonated, refreshment to ready and relieve your mouth for a heaping pile of noodles.

I’ll manage, but it’ll be hard to order phat (pad) thai anywhere else in the city. I love that Pok Pok Phat Thai offers a vegan option, and that chicken is not included in the phat thai choices — apparently that combo is just for tourists. Fun, funky and casual, Pok Pok Phat Thai, like Pok Pok NY and the late, great Pok Pok Wing, is serving up some of the best food in the city. Yesterday’s “New York Restaurant Wish List” on theNew York Times’ Diner’s Blog listed many great wishes, and even highlighted Pok Pok as a gold standard for what we should see more of, in terms of elevating the quality and authenticity of a cuisine. On my wish list is that Pok Pok maintains its phenomenal caliber and cool, no-fuss attitude as it continues to develop and expand from its Portland homebase.

For more on Pok Pok NY, see “Three BK Food Trends Worth the Hype.”