Pok Pok lines and plan of action
- Heeney Aug 26, 2013 08:22 AM
So this coming Sunday we are hoping to go to Pok Pok and are trying to think of how best to time our arrival.
I'm aware of the best approach being to arrive 30 mins before they open. But this day we are meeting some people for a late lunch that will end around 2pm. So I don't think we will want to eat like 3 hours later.
So is there another good time to try and go on a Sunday night. I'm thinking we'll kill time in a bar but hopefully only like an hour and not two or more. Ideally we'd like to eat around 9 ish I guess.
i've never found the waits to be more than an hour and a half, regardless of what time you get there. if you wanted to eat at 9, you can probably get there at 9 or even just a little before and be seated pretty quickly.
if you need to wait, the same owners just opened whiskey soda lounge on the corner of kane and columbia, which apparently has the same cocktail menu as pok pok, and some appetizer-like food you can snack on while waiting.
Last week we went just after 9 on a tuesday and were told that the wait was about an hour so I'm not sure how quick pretty quickly would be on a sunday.
I did read a story that they've opened a bar on the corner just before the block Pok Pok is on. Walked by it and looked in. Saw the thai writing on the signs but didn't know about the connection til later. It could be an interesting place to wait.
Tried Pok Pok for the first time last night. Have been wanting to get there for some time, so I may have gone in with too high of expectations, but overall the meal was incredibly disappointing.
stopped at Whiskey Soda Lounge for a cocktail and to take advantage of their happy hour price on the famous wings. my wife's gin and tonic had a pleasant and pronounced flavor of kaffir. my tamarind whiskey sour was interesting, but ultimately too sweet to have a second. the wings, which we've heard and read so much about, were good but not better than that. certainly not deserving of all the praise they're given.
further down the block at Pok Pok, we opted for different drinks, which again were unique in flavor and ingredients, but i wouldn't return to WSL or Pok Pok for any of the four that we tried - the tennessee stud, rhubarb blush, tamarind whiskey sour, and the pok pok gin and tonic.
for dinner, we chose the warm mushroom salad, the half-order of Kai Yaang, the grilled sausage, and the prawns with pork belly over bean noodles. we felt that the mushroom salad was seasoned in a way that masked the natural flavor of the varied mushrooms. the house specialty hen is served with a sweet and well spiced sauce, which we both really enjoyed, but there was hardly any meat to dip in it. i'm sure that's a nice dish, but it's out of value and ultimately unsatisfying. the grilled sausage was probably the best of what we tried, but it was a bit confused. our waitress explained what everything was and said we could eat them in any combination, but nothing made a lot of sense. the best combination we could figure was the sausage wrapped in cabbage dipped in the green chile paste. i stopped eating the pork rinds for fear of loosing a tooth and didn't care of the combination of squash and sausage. prawns with pork belly over bean noodles was a bore. i hated to eat it and left more than half of the noodle. it was so dry and void of flavor. having to dig out the prawns to peel them would have been worthwhile had the shells given any flavor to the dish.
glad to have gone and sure we'll never return. at $150 between Pok Pok and Whiskey Soda Lounge, we couldn't resist comparing way more enjoyable and far less expensive meals at Mission Chinese, realizing that the similarities are few but do exist.
I was disappointed in my meal as well.
There were three of us there this past January. We left our names with the hostess and went down the street for drinks.
When we were seated 45 minutes later, we ordered (I think) four entrees, but I only remember three: A wing bean special, a Brussels sprouts special, Kung Op Wun Sen, and something else. The only things I enjoyed were the sprouts, which were basically halved and roasted with maybe a little fish sauce. The wing beans were oversalted and all I could taste was fish sauce and some odd taste that reminded me of rancid peanuts. As for the Kung Op Wun Sen, the shrimp was bland and overcooked. The noodles were mush. We didn't even see any pork belly in the dish. Nothing was finished, except my umeshu cocktail, which I knew I needed for my two-hour train trip home. I have no desire to go back.
I was also disappointed the one time I went. Considering how long I waited I could've taken the train to Queens and had something more mind-blowing. It is the best Thai(esque) that I've had in South Brooklyn, but this is also because there aren't any memorable Thai spots around. The Vietnamese fish sauce wings were nice, but I wasn't in love with them either.
Of the Thai places that aren't in Queens, I love Qi Thai Grill in Williamsburg and Zabb Elee in the East Village. Pok Pok would come in third place after these places (again because there isn't a lot of competition) - but again, if I'm going to wait that long to be seated I'll just take the train to Elmhurst or Woodside.
huh, we looooooved that mushroom salad.
But also walked right in later one weeknight, so no big pressure/annoyance based on waiting an hour. I'd been waiting to go there until the lines died down. Can anyone who goes there often tell me if I was just inordinately lucky, or are lines only on the weekends?
Table consensus: the Collins cocktail was too sweet, but the Tamarind was nice -- tart, a drink for grown folks who like savory.