Portland >Food & Dining > Pok Pok
3226 SE Division St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720245.504745 -122.632198
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Richmond
Pok Pok has expanded, and not just in the form of another lounge (Whiskey Soda) or location (Noi and NY), but now with another upstairs dining room. If you have a party of five or more, make reservations that can last up to two hours.
Andy Ricker's tribute to the flavors of Thailand has utterly transcended its ethnic niche and even its city, making a national name for itself with its spicy but complex foods -- especially its legendary chicken wings.
'Tis important to approach this Portland dining icon with a sense of adventure, an open mind about what constitutes Thai cuisine, and an affinity for spice, which is why we don't take my mother anymore. Everything's good, but...it's kind of all about the wings for me.
If it's raining sit outside under the corrugated roof for extra atmosphere and do not leave without having a whole bird and a spicy papaya salad.
Loved the papaya salad and even when the spice was toned down it packed a kick! Also loved the "broken crepe" with tenders muscles, green onions, egg and siracha sauce. Sipping vinegars can be added to any liquor, like vodka, for a touch of exotic flavoring. Our waiter could explain everything on this authentic, exotic Thai menu. Seating inside is loud but lively. The space heaters outside created ample warmth while dining in the closed off outdoor seating sections. Most times you will wait but turn in your name & head across the street to The Whisky Soda Lounge where they'll let you know when your table is available.
PDX's first cinderella story. Former shack turns into a full-on national empire. The wings are an obvious must-order, and be sure to sample from the list of exotic drinking vinegars. Try the muu paa kham waan!
How can these wings be this good? We come from Seattle just to get an order!
Not the greatest experience – Okay, here's the deal.... expectations were high for Pok Pok, but in the end... well let's just say My stomach wasn't doing so well....
First off, this place is a haven for the hipster crowd. There is an attempt to be all Manhattan... but lets be real, this is Portland....
we were intended to be a party of four, and our "reservation" was for four... but another joined at the last minute and that added an additional 45 minutes to our already hour long wait.
They have you wait at the Whiskey Soda Lounge across the street... (a much better experience)... After a few drinks and some appetizers we were finally able to be seated at Pok Pok . (now hungry and with high anticipation of the place) Upon entering the atmosphere was very bland, as was the food compared to other Thai restaurants in town...
(Thai Fresh is the best) All five of us walked away unsatisfied... and at the end of the night three of us had sour stomachs. All in all... this was a below average experience. One I will never do again. And I wouldn't recommend it to my best or worst friend.
not sure what the hype is about! – Just prior to a recent trip to Thailand (we have been to Thailand many times and know authentic Thai food) we were chomping at the bit to get some authentic Thai cuisine, so we decided to try Pok Pok based on its great reviews. We were very dissapointed. We love thai food and eat street food in Thailand but I didn't even want to finish my food here. We tried several dishes and found them to be bland. We won't be back.
Not sure why I tried it again! – So I tried this place again after having a bad experience the first time because of the great reviews. Well, second time is terrible too. I am not sure why people like this place?
Best food – Came here for my friends birthday...awesome drinks and food. Makes you forget about the portland winters for a bit.
Excellent if you like spicy foods! – The flavor and atmosphere at this place are great. I take all of my out of town visitors here. Never a complaint. Don't miss the Khao Soi Kai -comes vegetarian or with chicken and the sticky rice. Also the salted plum collins is a bonus.
Not Quite Fulfilling the Promise – After having been sung its praises by several friends we finally made it to Pok Pok last night. A party of five, we tried several dishes and everything was good, but not 'over the top' great to my mind.
The 'slow grilled' Carlton Farms baby back ribs were not really tender and juicy, they could have used a little more time, or maybe a little less; the fish sauce chicken wings were probably my favorite but maybe just a little too long in the deep fryer and not as spicy or interesting as I expected; the catfish marinated in turmeric sounds like the flavors should just explode in your head, but they don't. Tasty, but not memorable. The crispy crepe with mussels was also very good, but short on mussels and long on bean sprouts. The Thai style egg plant was a surprise hit, very flavorful and a nice portion. The special herbal salad was also well received in it's vegetarian form.
Two of us tried a drink, my Pok Pok bloody Mary was sort of watery and although it was spicy it lacked a strong tomato taste to counterpoint the spices and the spices weren't up to my idea of Thai peppers at all with the overall effect of it being odd tasting to my palate; the tamarind whiskey sour was pronounced "O.K." by my wife, but she didn't ask for a second one.
It was quite crowded, even on a Monday night, and allowing for that the service was pretty fast. The wait staff was knowledgeable, friendly and attentive.
Overall it was fine, my problem was that I read the menu before we went and it reads a lot better than it smells or tastes face to face. Generally for Thai or Vietnamese food I'd say it was rather bland overall, and with the great combinations of ingredients described I was hoping for more.
My wife said it was loud, something that reduces her enjoyment quite a bit.
So, the final word is that it's good, and some of it is very good, but it's not great and that's what I was expecting.
I'd fly into Pdx just to have this food! – This is a must try. My list of top 5 in Portland. Get their spicy fish sauce wings, pok pok salad, and the boars tounge. Try the drinking vinegar too.
Space is tight, but service is great!
This food is beyond amazing! DO TODAY!
Differently tasting Thai cuisine (be prepared!) – It has a differently tasting Thai cuisine... but something that did not cater to my taste. Pretty much everything was sweet. We ordered several items (asked everything to be made spicy) - most of them turned out to be sweet and sour.
We ordered Shrimp Chips, HouseRoastedPeanuts ( both items novel and probably the best items, sadly it goes downhill after the appetizers), Ike's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings (most disappointing order as it had some award/recognition against this... maybe, I am too used to Buffalo Wild Wing's wings), Tam Kai Yaang (roasted game hen salad: this was the best entree that we had), Khao Soi Kai (chicken soup in coconut milk: this was very average), Muu Paa Kham Waan (boar meat: this was decent).
Also, we were very disappointed with the wait time... we were a group of 5 and were asked to wait for 30-45 minutes, waited for an hour seeing others who came much later than us (in groups less than 5) getting seated before us.
ahh so good – This is the thai food i have been searching for all my life. The boars collar meat is so amazing.
Times 3 and still great – My third time here and never disappointed. Wait staff was very knowledgable regarding the dishes on the menu. Been here three different times with three different people and nothing but raves about the food. Different dishes each time except for the Ikes wings which my guest referred to as "they make normal "sweet and sour" and "teriyaki" style wings taste like a boring Disney production".
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