Monday, June 23, 2014

Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon

Pok Pok Special

It must seem a bit weird to come all the way off of a long haul flight from Asia to Portland to get...Thai food?? Yes, it sounds crazy. But this place has gotten so much media attention over the years that I had to come here to try it (3226 SE Division Street, 232-1387), especially since that chicken *did* look pretty good. Interestingly, this street was loaded with tons of other Thai restaurants nearby.

It turned out that the kai yaang that got this place started was pretty darned good, being not just tender and juicy but more importantly with a lovely smoky element pervading it. I'd get that again, but I wouldn't bother with the papaya salad; it was fine but not anything different from what one could easily get in Singapore. I wished I had tried those chicken wings (or even khao soi) instead.

Still, there was one surprise item on the menu that I just had to get: their interpretation of Chả cá Lã Vọng (yes, they had a couple of Vietnamese items on the menu). The good thing was that it was garnished with fresh dill and herbs, and I liked it better than that Thien Long place in San Jose. I still long for more of that bubbling oil in Hanoi, but otherwise this guy kept things reasonably authentic. Nice.

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