Unless you've been out in Portland late-night, you've never had the pleasure of seeing a hula-hooper battle a fire-dancer as Annie Lennox plays on repeat, or more importantly, dominating a bowl of Pok Pok's elusive phat Thai (no, the dish isn't starting an early-'90s hip-hop act, that's how it's spelled in Thailand). Well, all that's changing with the newest project from bicoastal PDXer Andy Ricker, who's closing down his LES wing joint (don't worry, he's got plans for another, and you can still get 'em in BK) to transform it into Pok Pok Phat Thai.
Said noodles weren't served at Andy's other restos during regular hours because he wanted people to branch out and be adventurous (yes, the boar collar qualifies), though he firmly believes that "it's a great dish when done well", and backs up this move by noting that all "the best phat Thai in Thailand is from dish-specific restaurants". The "old-school style" phatness begins with finding the right balance between sweet, sour, and salty, accomplished by cooking the noodles in pork fat, adding select ingredients like fish sauce, palm sugar, chili powder, and egg, and topping it off with your choice of ground pork or fresh prawns -- prawns! They're all just prawns in this delicious game of his!
A few choice dishes generally repped at phat Thai street vendors also make it into the mix, including wide rice noodles w/ chicken & cuttlefish, and the ridiculous Hoi Thawt, a crispy broken crepe w/ mussels cooked into it that's served with Sriracha sauce from a brand called Shark, which lost a Portland dance-off to a cheetah on stilts just last night. Portland be crazy!