Why Come Here? Phenomenal & interesting Thai & Filipino fare, lively atmosphere, cheap beer

Right Amount for 2: 3 small plates and a coconut rice

Pig & Khao dining room, LES, Lower East Side, New York, Southeast Asian

The Dining Room (courtesy of Pig & Khao)

Pig and Khao may be my new favorite restaurant in New York City. Let’s take a look at the tape: Delicious and interesting riffs on one of my favorite cuisines (SE Asian). Check. Lively atmosphere with sassy waitresses. Check. Unlimited keg beer for $15 with great cocktails for everyone else. Triple Check.

Yes, Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen’s new restaurant has something for everyone from foodie to frat lord. From what I can tell, there are only two drawbacks. First, the no reservation policy means fairly long waits (expect around an hour at prime times). This is mitigated by the unlimited beer you will drinking and the large outdoor garden you can wait in (for another month at least). Second is the the open kitchen. While I don’t mind having my coat smell like bacon for the next week, I can conceive that some of you might.

On to the food. The menu is divided into three sections: snacks, small plates and large plates. The snacks consist of fried chickpeas or Russ & Daughters salmon skins and are perfect little bites to share while you wait. The small plates make up the majority of the menu and have a pork focus, as you may have surmised from the restaurant’s name. However, there are plenty of suitable options for those who don’t eat pork (although I wouldn’t recommend coming here if you’re a veggie). We had a group of four and did most of our damage on this section, ignoring the pricier large plates.  My recommendations are below, while my thoughts on everything we ate are available on DishEnvy.

Pig & Khao, NYC, LES, Lower East Side, Thai, Malaysian

Green Mango Salad (courtesy: Pig & Khao)

Green Mango Salad  Spicy and refreshing, this salad bursts with great Thai flavors.

Quail Adobo  Surprisingly meaty little wings that were sweet, spicy and tangy.

Khao Soi Everything comes together perfectly here: slippery egg noodles, spicy greens and aromatic red curry

Mussels  A very tasty green curry base, but the mantao bun stole the show. Katherine described it as a pretzel meets doughnut and it’s perfect for sopping up the curry and all your other sauces as well.

Coconut Rice  What’s that you say? It’s just rice cooked in coconut milk, how can it be a 3 star dish? Try it and all will be revealed.

Pig and Khao
68 Clinton Street (Stanton & Rivington Sts.)
New York, NY
Restaurant Website
Pig & Khao on Urbanspoon