Pig and Khao, the newish restaurant from Top Chef Season 5 alum Leah Cohen, has a really cool vibe. The inside is vibrant with an open kitchen, and there is a patio area out back that’s fun if you want to eat and drink outside. They also have $1 PBRs from the tap during Happy Hour, which is cool. While I thought two dishes were pretty great, the rest were kind of eh. Pig and Khao seems to be offering up fairly unique, creative dishes, they just don’t seem to all work out. I would definitely return (and order those two dishes) if someone else were to suggest it, but I don’t see myself running back any time soon.
Sangria: I really liked this sangria, which was made with red wine, pineapple, green mango, papaya, assam skin and spices. The spices were subtle, but added uniqueness. My only complaint is I wish pitchers were an option. Sangria is the kind of drink that you want more than one glass, so at $10 a drink, it gets a little expensive.
Shrimp Appetizer Special: This is basically an Asian corn dog made with shrimp and covered in what looked and felt like Rice Krispies. I didn’t hate it, but it was kind of weird. It was kind of hard to eat and kind of hard to dip in the sauce. I also felt like the sauce it came with was too thin and didn’t really add too much flavor. I would skip this.
Khao Soi: This is red curry, coconut milk, chicken egg noodles, pickled mustard and greens shallots. It’s really delicious and also really spicy – my ears were on fire and I have a pretty high heat threshold. But don’t get me wrong, the heat level did not detract from the dish’s yummy factor. The noodles were good and I liked the crunchy noodles on top. All in all, I really enjoyed this.
Mussels: The mussels were made in dashi (a Japanese stock) and had Chinese sausage, yuzu (citris fruit), thai basil and fried mantao buns for dipping. The broth was really subtle and had a slight sourness to it that paired really well with the sweet mantao buns and the salty-sweet Chinese sausage. The mussels were cooked right and went well with the broth too. The buns, specifically, were fantastic – most comparable to a savory donut. I felt like the Chinese sausage could have been more present, but otherwise a really solid dish.
Grilled Pork Jowl: This contained pieces of pork jowl with watermelon, chicharron, toasted rice, lime-chili fish sauce and herbs. Each component was tasty; I liked the pork jowl, I liked the watermelon, I liked the chicharron, but they each felt like separate elements on a plate. So while I liked all the components separately, the dish just really lacked cohesion. Our waiter also forgot to bring the dish, so I ended up eating it at the end of the meal, when it probably should have been consumed first or second. I will say that they took the dish off the check though, which was more than nice!
Turon: This was described as a banana fritter with salted caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce, but was more like a banana spring roll. It was really nothing special. The salted caramel ice cream was kind of average, and I was expecting a banana fritter, which wasn’t what came.
Pig and Khao: 68 Clinton St. New York, NY ($$-$$$)