Andy Ricker, perhaps the United States' foremost ambassador of Thai cuisine, is weeks away from opening his first venture outside the Pok Pok brand in years.
As first reported by Portland Monthly, Ricker's new restaurant, Ping Yang Pow, is set to begin dinner service above the Pok Pok Northwest location at 1639 NW Marshall St. later this month.
While not stepping too far outside his culinary wheelhouse, the focus here will be on charcoal grilling, a particular obsession of Ricker's—he even owns a side business that sells Thai-style charcoal logs to restaurants across the country.
The menu is still coming together, but according to Portland Monthly's Karen Brooks, items will include roasted young chicken in turmeric coconut cream, Dungeness crab fried rice, khai phaam eggs in a banana leaf boat and a daily "sundae of the day." Brooks also reports that while Ricker will set the menu, the kitchen will be headed by Pok Pok chef Thanyawan "Thanya" Kaewket.
The 24-seat space is scheduled to open around Dec. 20—reservations are not yet open, but will be strongly encouraged.
Ping Yang Pow will be Ricker's first non-Pok Pok project since his Southeast Division Street noodle house, Sen Yai, closed in 2016. Since then, he's expanded the Pok Pok empire to five locations—which includes three locations of casual spinoff Pok Pok Wing—in Portland.
Outside of his home base, though, he's taken some losses: Pok Pok locations in New York and Los Angeles closed within a year of each other.