Pok Pok started, more or less, as a cookout. When Andy Ricker opened the restaurant in 2005, it was a Thai takeout shack outside of his house in a residential neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. As Ricker worked a rotisserie grill in his driveway, customers would mingle in the yard and jockey for seats at the picnic table.
Pok Pok was too good to stay small. When the lines for Ricker’s garlic-and-lemongrass-scented hens grew too long, he added seating in his living room and turned his basement into a bar and dining room he dubbed Whiskey Soda Lounge. He bought more grilling rigs (he now has seven), leaving them parked outside as if displayed at a yard sale. And he expanded his menu beyond the hens to include equally sensational dishes like baby back ribs glazed with honey and giant shrimp with a cilantro-citrus dipping sauce.