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Thai Cuisine

Crispy Pork Gang & Grill: In Thai Town, You Gotta Have a Gimmick

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Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Jonagold apples - F. FRIESEMA
  • F. Friesema
  • Jonagold apples
Well, yes, Crispy Pork Gang. A restaurant. A Thai restaurant. In that Thai Town strip mall that somebody should have thought of a catchy name for by now, but anyway, the one with Ganda, Ruen Pair and Red Corner Asia in it, and a valet who will stack three cars behind you should you decide that you can park without his help.

On a block containing more Thai restaurants per square foot than anywhere this side of Bangkok, a Thai restaurant needs a kind of gimmick, and you will not be surprised to hear that the calling card at Crispy Pork Gang is, in fact, crispy pork -- Scrabble tiles of crispy, skin-on pork blown out to a light, gooey crunch, and tossed with papaya salad, laid into soup, spooned over rice, stir-fried with thousand-year eggs or mint leaves or curry, or, perhaps most satisfactorily, sauteed with slippery morning glory stalks or green, crunchy stumps of Chinese broccoli. There is an adequately crunchy version of the crispy rice salad nam kao tod, grilled chicken and pork (justifying the "& Grill'' part of the restaurant's name), and a fairly wan excuse for roti, either slicked with coconut milk or served with green curry, but no matter. Do you think they'd toss crispy pork in with the mango and sticky rice?

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