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Jonathan Gold Talks Cultural Appropriation and Authentic Thai Food in Pok Pok Review

Yup, the chicken wings are that good.

Pok Pok LA
Pok Pok LA
Wonho Frank Lee

This Christmas, Jonathan Gold shares his take on Pok Pok, Andy Ricker's highly anticipated full-scale Los Angeles restaurant that follows in the footsteps of the others in Portland, New York, and his Chinatown noodle stand. The LA Times critic tackles the subject of cultural appropriation that arises when "there is no shortage of restaurants featuring Thai chefs cooking Thai dishes for Thai expats (and non-Thais who wish to eat like Thais)."

The Goldster responds to the issue by explaining:

Still, Pok Pok's Singha on draft is frosty. The gin and tonic is beautifully punched up with makrut lime. The bar snacks — grilled dried cuttlefish with chiles, buffalo jerky, deep-fried patties of the pork salad called larb — are light, spicy and delicious. The music is pretty close to the best 10 minutes of a Henry Rollins podcast. There would be a lot of good reasons to drop by even if the food weren't good. [LAT]

Ultimately, J. Gold is rather pleased with the whole experience, and recommends the famous chicken wings, fried catfish, pork belly curry, and duck larb.


The Elsewhere: Darin Dines has a disappointing meal at Otium, Gourmet Pigs is down with the high quality Korean BBQ at Hanjip, and The Offalo recaps his favorite meal of 2015 at Shunji.

Pok Pok LA

978 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 613-1831