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Photos: Pok Pok Visits Night + Market For Thai New Year Dinner
This past Friday, chef Andy Ricker of Portland's famous Pok Pok restaurant came down to cook with Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market. The two put together a fabulous Songkran feast in honor of Thai New Year, which is celebrated in the Southeast Asian country this coming weekend. (The festival in L.A. took place last Sunday.)
Guests were greeted with frosty bottles of Singha on the patio, and then moved inside to sit at the long communal tables, where 11 courses of assaultingly spicy Thai street food were served family style. Some of the guests at our table were sweating and on the verge of tears, but they kept going. The cold beer and some Thai tea kept us from tapping out, but we really could have used one of Ricker's shrub sodas from the Portland outpost.
Contrary to many people's expectations, there was no sign of Pok Pok's famous hot wings. (We're sure Ricker had some fun not being the wing man for a night.) The food was definitely an authentic taste of Thailand and not for the faint of heart; durian, pig's blood, and chicken claws were all part of the menu. (You can rest assured that we played with the latter like a bunch of 7 year olds.)
Conversation was loud and jovial, much like what you'd find at a Thai night market, and the crowd was a mix bag of Thai diners, food writers and none other than Marisa Tomei. There were also plenty of chefs in attendance, too, including Roy Choi of Kogi, Bryant Ng of Spice Table, Zach Pollack of Sotto, and Casey Lane of the Tasting Kitchen.
And at the end of the night when we went to sign ourselves up for the email list, we couldn't help but notice that Yenbamroong was soliciting suggestions for Night + Market 2.0.
Here's what we ate.