Chinatown’s emergence as the hottest new food neighborhood in L.A. took another major step forward in the final days of 2014 when Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Phat Thai joined Roy Choi’s Chego and Scoops in the Chinatown Plaza (Eggslut’s Ramen Champ has since joined them as well.) You likely have heard of Ricker’s brand of Thai food, thanks to super popular restaurants in Portland and New York. But not everybody has welcomed Pok Pok with open arms and their Yelp page has quickly devolved into a mess of complaints, some fair but most completely unfair for a restaurant that is less than a month old. Before you jump into the fray with a crappy review of your own, here are 5 things you should probably know about the new Pok Pok, complete with quotes we got from Ricker, who is currently in Thailand.
1. Pok Pok Phat Thai isn’t Pok Pok. So you went to Pok Pok on that last trip to Portland and loved the chicken wings? Congrats! This isn’t Pok Pok. Pok Pok is a full restaurant, a branch of which will be opening later this year up the street in the Mandarin Plaza. This is Pok Pok Phat Thai, a quick service noodle shop dedicated to the kind of sautéed fast food they serve on the streets of Thailand. If you want the wings, you’re going to have to wait a little while longer.