Pok Pok Wing
Pok Pok Wing Special – Hot Ike’s Wings, Papaya Salad, Sticky Rice
The Pok Pok Dog – Deep-fried Chicken Dog, Wing Caramel, Pickled Vegetables, Fried Garlic, Sri Rancha
Ju Pa Bao – Macanese Style Bun, Bone-in Pork Loin fried in Pork Fat
Now given a month to gather its bearings a return to of Block 16 Urban Food Hall on Saturday once again showed the spot to be humming, Ghost Donkey’s recent opening completing a six piece puzzle but the night starting off at Pok Pok Wing where John Courtney and The Cosmopolitan’s culinary team are serving a menu full of big flavors and great value.
Located on Block 16’s left side and based on Chef Andy Ricker’s fifteen year old Restaurant in Portland, expansion to New York as well as Los Angeles unsuccessful despite mass and critical acclaim, Pok Pok Wing opts to bring a more limited version of the menu built on “Ike’s Wings” to the Las Vegas Strip and with prices ranging from $3 to $16 the only real question to ask is whether Food lives up to the original.
Offered counter-style in the same manner as everything else in the Food Hall, minor discrepancies between paper and hanging menu prices finding the Pok Pok Dog to be $5 instead of $9, it was beginning with this plus unadorned Ju Pa Bao that dining began, the Chicken Sausage dipped in hot Oil coming out crisp and juicy amidst balanced condiments while the Bone-in Pork with a big warning sticker is the picture of melt-in-mouth succulence stuffed into a sweet and fluffy Bun.
A bit less dialed in on service that other parts of Block 16, a prior couple apparently given the wrong order while a “Pok Pok Wing Special” arrived with no Sticky Rice until requested, suffice it to say that setting aside those issues the $12 combo featuring four Wings, Papaya Salad and a bag of rice is every bit as good as memory recalls from PDX, the fabled Fish Sauce Wings crunchy and sweet with a great Garlic top note while Palm Sugar and Dried Shrimp offer balance to shredded Fruit packing the punch of Thai Chilis.
FOUR STARS: Not quite “there” yet in terms of service, a month-long overhead menu error and forgotten items not affecting Food but rather the experience, Pok Pok Wing nonetheless offers great value on the dollar even when compared to off-Strip Street Food spots and if Cosmo’s cracked PR Team can find a way to sell that idea this could be Ricker’s first real success outside PDX.
RECOMMENDED: Pok Pok Wing Special, Ju Pa Bao…and apparently checking your order before leaving the counter.
AVOID: Unless one is extremely intolerant to spice the Ike’s Wings should be ordered Hot, not mild.
TIP: Open 11a-midnight Sunday through Thursday and till 4am on Friday and Saturday.