Pok Pok Brings the Funk to the LES
Dish #30 is for noodle lovers
Welcome to 100 Dishes to Eat Now, the tasty countdown leading up to our "Best of 2012" issue. Tune in every day (weekends, too!) for a new dish from the Fork in the Road team.
Andy Ricker's Pok Pok Wing has been rebooted as a tiny noodle bar on the Lower East Side, where cooks work over the gas stoves, using wooden paddles to shift rice noodles around in hot pig's fat. The dishes here are not fancy, but they're certainly made with care, and there are condiments on the counters for adjusting your own plate.
The Phat Thai Thamadaa ($8) is wonderfully funky in a tamarind-fish sauce bolstered with palm sugar and fermented radish. It's a pile of textures -- from the stretch of the rice noodles to the scramble-fried egg, crisp bean sprouts, and dried tofu. Scattered about like treasure: crushed peanuts and tiny dry shrimp.
It's fast, satisfying, and generously portioned, ideal for stumbling toward after a few drinks in the neighborhood. A vegan option is available, as are glass noodles. And for a real jolt, try the super-strong Kafae Boran, an intensely sweet but deeply flavored Thai-style coffee (hot or cold).
Pok Pok Phat Thai
137 Rivington Street