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Aug 21, 2007 01:29 PM

"Northern" Thai?

Believe it or not, I had some really tasty Thai food in Portland, OR while on vacation (hey, I'm as surprised as you are) at a place called Pok Pok ( It was different than a lot of the "typical" Thai food I've had in NY, and my friend said it was more like "Northern Thai". Some dishes we had included Kai Yaang, Hoi Thawt, and Khanom Jiin Tam Taeng Kwaa. Does anyone know of similar restaurants in the NY area? I'm thinking maybe Queens might have something, or Brooklyn...? I tried to search and turned up nothing so far...

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  1. Zabb in Queens on Roosevelt Ave. just east of the BQE (they also have a branch in Manhattan on E. 13th St.) serves northeastern Thai Isaan - or "Esan" as it says on the awning - style cuisine. But a quick glance at their takeout/delivery menu doesn't reveal any of the dishes you mention.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Woodside Al

      as I recall you have to go to Queens for the real Zabb - the Manhattan rest is not the same.

      we thought the food in Zabb was mostly delicious but there is some variability. Salads and noodle dishes can be very good, but not curries.

    2. Kai Yaang might also be spelled gai yang -- it's grilled chicken and I'm sure Zabb must have that. I believe Khanom Jiin (or jeen) is a kind of noodle, and the rest might describe the sauce or topping.

      1. I could be remembering incorrectly, but the past few times I've been to Sripraphai I've noticed a Northern noodle dish on their specials but I'm not positive if it's khanom jeen or not. I'm pretty sure it wasn't khao soi. It was like Thai spaghetti, if that means anything. Kind of like a bolognese but with cucumbers, pickled greens and bean sprouts.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Krista G

          Yes Sri has khanom jeen and they make it perfectly. Check out my avatar icon thats a pot of the fish stock for khanom jeen. Its basically boiled fish with tons of chilis.

          Ive definatly seen some other reconizable dishes from my home town on the menu

        2. Wondrous to behold: great food can be had in places other than New York City, and great Thai food can be found in a city that's closer to Thailand than New York City is!

          1. sorry I can't help in the city, but wasn't PokPok terrific. We were in Portland last month for a few days and had a fabulous meal there. It makes me want to go to Chang Mai, an dforget about Bangkok.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chazzerking

              Hi from Portland. I go to PokPok often. Yesterday had the green papaya salad and Khao Soi Khai (curried tofu or chicken noodle soup w/peppers lime etc). Took my gf who was visiting from DC and she was blown away.
              OP: yes, it is northern "street" food. Owner lived in Chiang Mai for a few years and fell in love with the stuff. He goes there at least once a year for ingredients. Amused you were so shocked to find great Thai food outside of NY and 2000 miles closer to Thailand than NY. Yes, all manner of outstanding food in tiny Portland of the hinterlands.