If you are lucky enough to snag a seat right up against the kitchen bar, you will see Chef Leah Cohen taking charge of her kitchen. “Fire whole fish!” she commands as the three men in the back whip up everything from Chinese sausage to curry-soaked mussels.
Pig and Khao (Khao, meaning “Rice” in Thai) fits well into the neighborhood in which it opened nearly two moths ago on the Lower East Side, opened by Leah (a Top Chef alum), and the Fatty Crew Hospitality Group. It has that inescapable hipster feel as you enjoy your pork-based dishes while old-school Ice Cube and Easy E play loudly in the Southeast Asian themed dining room. But the fun and lively appearance is second to the dishes, which could very well be served at any 5-star Asian fusion establishment.
It’s all about the Small Plates here (which aren’t really that small) so grab a friend with an adventurous palate and start out with the Crispy Red Curry Rice Salad that comes in the form of lettuce wraps if you want some spice. The best two dishes on the menu are a tie between the Mussels and the Khao Soi. The Mussels come with the most delightful soft buns that are perfect for the mussel broth that you will just end up drinking as soup once the mussel shells are all empty. The yuzu, dashi and Thai basil create a flavor explosion that leaves you slurping up the last bits with a spoon. The Khao Soi (and don’t forget a side order of coconut rice) a curry lover dream. Complete with crispy noodles, chicken and egg.
If you need a large plate after this all, you can’t go wrong with the Crispy Pata that comes with two dipping sauces and leaves you loving the pig for which this spot is named.
Pig & Khao is lively and constantly hopping which makes is the perfect dinner spot if you are prepping for a big night out. Perfect for groups looking to have fun, and even more fun once the back patio opens up, complete with an endless help-yourself beer tap.
New York, NY 10022