This is more of an important public announcement, rather than a full restaurant review. Pok Pok, as expected by some, ran its course and closed around a year ago. I never want to see restaurants close, but admittedly, I havent visited Pok Pok in the final year or so. The fact that it was never open for lunch (weekdays), and other serious Northern Thai joints like Ugly Baby popping up in Brooklyn had something to do with it. But with Krok, opening up in its place there are reasons to celebrate, and visit.
You might as well call it Krok Krok, as its not awfully different than the previous tenant. Krok’s menu is street food and Isan leaning, which means BYOB, Bring Your Own Bounty. While they may tone it down a bit for the white boys, toning it down here still means plenty of nice, bold flavors. After just one sit down, and a takeout order on another evening, I can tell you that this is some serious strong stuff. And being within six degrees of Pure Thai Cookhouse helps. Chef/partner Krit Ploysomboon cooked at Land Thai Kitchen, Pure’s UWS sister. Another partner owns a Thai restaurant in Queens.
Every dish I’ve had so far was outstanding. The Pad Kra-Prao, minced chicken (you can get pork instead), stir fried with garlic, chili and a vibrant basil sauce is especially superb. Another great chicken dish is the Gai Yang Bu-ri-ram, herb marinated and grilled with garlic, lemongrass, pepper, served with spicy sweet & sour and tamarind chili dipping sauces which you may or may not feel the need to use.
The fiery Moo Num Tok leads the grilled entrees column for a reason. Marinated Pork with herbs, lime and chili. It’s quite fragrant, and addictive just like the rest of them. The rice helps spell relief and so is the cabbage and cucumbers combo that comes with some of the dishes. If you are not getting them, ask. The lone green curry with chicken I’ve had so far was spot on. Looking forward to getting more intimate with this menu.
117 Columbia St (Kane), Columbia Street Waterfront District, Brooklyn
Rating: 2 Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Pad Kra-Prao, Gai Yang Bu-ri-ram, Moo Num Tok