The latest in NY from Thai fare legend Andy Ricker is Pok Pok Phat Thai in the Lower East Side. Phat Thai took over the tiny former Pok Pok Wing spot, and besides the fact that spirits on Yelp are mourning the loss of wings, the first reviews of Phat Thai are mixed. Ricker has said that he hasn't put pad Thai on the menu at any of his other restaurants because he thinks that the dish deserves the same attention and care that it gets on the streets in Thailand. Thus, a whole space and staff are now dedicated to it. A few of us headed down there last week to try it out.
Charlie and I split the Phat Thai Ruam with ground pork and shrimp, the Kuaytiaw Khua Kai and a tamarind drinking vinegar. They don't sell water but there is a free-for-all cooler of pandanus water in the corner.
The Kuaytiaw Khua Kai, wide rice noodles stir-fried in pork fat with chicken, cuttlefish, egg and green onions served on lettuce was a bit more out there. The portion was much smaller but the noodles had a golden brown crisp and the cuttlefish was tender. We loved this dish, and the drinking vinegar as well.
Dishes here aren't super cheap but the food is certainly worth it. (The pad Thai was $12 but huge.) Don't get drunk before Pok Pok Phat Thai because the tiny store has no bathroom. If you hit it up, let me know what you think!
Pok Pok Phat Thai: 137 Rivington St. between Norfolk and Suffolk. (212) 477-1299