Few weeks ago, I was invited to an interesting event. The Tastemaker dinner, hosted by Chopped’s Ted Allen, took place at Pok Pok NY in Brooklyn. When I got the invite, I wasn’t too sure what it was about especially when the event was from Pepcid (yes the heartburn medicine) and Eater. Thai food doesn’t make me think heartburn and was Andy Ricker suppose to cook the whole dinner from a mystery basket?
I’ve never been to Pok Pok NY and have heard so many great things about it, I decided to check out this event. The night started off with cocktails, signing waiver forms and getting your table number. The bar, the tables and even the restrooms had bottles of Pepcid lying around. Finally, Ted Allen gave a quick speech and afterwards we all sat down at our tables. Dinner was served family style and we all enjoyed yam samun phrai (a herbal salad), Ike’s Vietnamese fish sauce wings, sai ua samun phrai (Thai sausage with chicharron and curry), phak buung fai daeng (stir fried bok choy with chillies), plaa neung bui (whole steamed striped bass with preserved plums), kai yaang tua (whole roasted chicken), and sangkhaya fak thong (sticky rice with pumpkin and palm sugar custard).
Thank you to Eater, Pepcid, Ted Allen and the Pok Pok NY crew for a great night and good food. Everyone was super nice and always great to meet other food people. I can’t say that the meal was amazing like how other people had talked about it but it was definitely good. While everyone was crazy over the chicken wings (I thought they were too salty), I was all over the stir fried bok choy and the salad. Crunchy, light, refreshing, and went so well with the sticky rice. The other dishes were pretty good. I mean, I’m pretty familiar with the flavors so the dishes were good but nothing truly jumped out at me as WOW. I did surprised myself by eating the dessert. If you don’t know, I hate Asian desserts but I didn’t want to offend anyone so I gave it a try and….it wasn’t too bad. The custard was darn tasty.
Thank you to Hunter Public Relations for the invite. I’ve always wanted to try Pok Pok NY and I finally did. Definitely good to have them in the neighborhood.
Pok Pok NY 117 Columbia St, Brooklyn
Last time I went to No Name Bar in Greenpoint for dinner, I was still enjoying the chili sesame noodles made by Lindsay Salminen. Though just a short two months later I found out she was no longer there and that the kitchen in the downstairs area is now serving Thai food. Obviously I was sad about this. Where am I suppose to have my chili sesame noodles now?
I wasn’t planning on checking out the new Thai spot till later but out of town friends wanted something light after a week of “too much meat” and so I suggested we try it out.
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Our 2012 Eat More in Queens mission started with a group dinner with my friends at SriPraPhai. It seemed like I was the last in the whole wide world to eat at SriPraPhai and I’m glad I did even if that meant riding the 7 train during rush hour.
There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be trekking out more to Queens, heck I (with Howard) even took a road trip up to New Haven for a day just to eat pizza (well Mo drove). The dinner was great and I’m looking forward to my next meal there. Though funny thing, I wanted to order a Pad Thai but no one would let me! It’s THE dish that I use to help me rate a Thai restaurant. Okay fine in the case of Joya, their Pad Thai is alright but their chicken green curry is where it’s at.
Check out what we ate after the jump
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A few weeks ago I was making plans for a late dinner with my friends Jeff & Eva, and they asked em the dreaded question: where did I want to meet? I say “dreaded” because sometimes, as a food blogger, that question makes me freeze up. I can rattle off recommendations of places that I’ve enjoyed, but I often rely on suggestions from others when looking for new places (hint, hint). Then it occurred to me, I’ve been meaning to try Kin Shop. Opened by Top Chef Season One’s winner Harold Dieterle, who also opened Perilla. Despite the fact that he’s a white guy opening up an expensive, upscale Thai restaurant, the reactions to Kin Shop seemed overwhelmingly positive.
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Ok, for the longest ass time I had no idea that there was a Thai Town. Then when I knew there was a Thai Town, I had no idea where it was. But finally I can say, I have visited and eaten in Thai Town. I feel I’m one step closer to being a local?
Though I have to give thanks to Mr.Midtownlunch, Zach Brooks, for helping me checking “eat in Thai Town” off my list. We were set to have a Thai Town lunch crawl and started off at Spicy BBQ on Santa Monica Blvd. along with his friend, who was writing an article about Thai Town. Once I got to Spicy BBQ, I found Zach and his friend, Kaite, outside checking their phones. Apparently Spicy BBQ wasn’t opened so we needed plan b. Plan b was Siam Sunset. It was mentioned on LA Weekly that it was the “Thai-est Thai restaurant in Thai Town”. I have never been to Thailand so I can’t say if this statement is true so I guess I’ll just have to take Mr.Gold’s words for it.
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Like I mentioned in my previous post that my friends’ parents had moved to the Sonoma County, 40mins north of SF. That’s where I stayed for the rest of my time in NorCal.
Ana’s Cafe & Espresso
The 1st morning Matt had told me about this pretty damn good place for breakfast burrito, a short walk from the house. Being vacation and all we actually didn’t leave the house till during lunch time. Ana’s Cafe & Espresso was inside a tiny plaza, next to a pet store. When we walked a lady was sitting at 1 of the table reading the newspapers. Wasn’t sure if she was Ana or not. She quickly got up and took our orders. Lucky for us, breakfast burrito seem to be an all day thing. About the size of your forearm and weighs as much as a fat cat, the breakfast burrito came with eggs, cheese and other fillings. I got mine with chorizo and potatoes.
I was pretty excited to dig into this monster but being cautious I only ate half of it, planned to eat the rest for a late night snack. The burrito was okay, didn’t really taste the chorizo and it was mostly potatoes.
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This past Sunday night, I was craving for chicken green curry from Joya, a Thai restaurant near my apartment. I usually get Pad Thai or Pad-See-Ew but my apartment mate, Mo, got me hooked on the curry. So that night we ordered 2 chicken green curries and 2 Thai iced tea. Mo loves spicy so he asked for his to be extra spicy.
CHECK OUT HOW FREAKIN SPICY LOOKING THAT IS!! It was so spicy Mo had to go buy himself another chicken green curry to dilute the spicier one. Hahahaaa.
– Joya 215 Court Street Brooklyn