Pok Pok Phat Thai is best known for its namesake street noodles, but for Chowhound Lau's money, the best thing on the menu is hoi thawt (pictured), a crisp, starchy crêpe with mussels, egg, garlic chives, and bean sprouts. It's "shockingly good"—by far the best he's encountered stateside, reminiscent of versions he's enjoyed around Southeast Asia. Turn up the heat, if you like, with Shark brand Sriracha from Thailand.
Other smart orders at Pok Pok Phat Thai—whose sister restaurant Pok Pok Ny in Brooklyn had hounds buzzing last year—are phat thai ruam (pad thai with shrimp and pork), cooked in pork fat and seasoned with tamarind, fish sauce, preserved radish, and chile, and kuaytiaw khua kai, a Bangkok Chinatown specialty of rice noodles stir-fried in pork fat with chicken, cuttlefish, egg, and green onion. All three dishes are surprisingly good by Manhattan standards, says hungrycomposer, who loves the authentic richness contributed by the pork fat. She also recommends the complimentary water flavored with pandan leaf—"quite refreshing."
Pok Pok Phat Thai [Lower East Side]
137 Rivington Street (between Norfolk and Suffolk streets), Manhattan
Photo from Pok Pok Phat Thai / Facebook