Chicago | September 16, 2016 9:00 am

America’s Best Thai Food. One Night Only.

Andy Ricker brings a true taste of Thailand to Chicago

Pro tip: don’t order the Pad Thai. Ever again.

If we can’t convince you, we know someone who can.

His name is Andy Ricker, he wins James Beard Awards, and for over a decade, his Pok Pok restaurants in Portland, New York and L.A. have been on a mission to prove to Americans that there’s more to Thai cuisine than noodles and curries.

Now, for one night only, he’s spreading that gospel to Chicago with an assist from the Land & Sea Dept. (Lost Lake, Cherry Circle Room), who’ll host Pok Pok for their From Good Stock supper club series.

Tickets go on sale at high noon today (two seatings: here and here), and they will sell out very fast.

Ricker’s power move: the cuisine of northern Thailand.

If you’ve never dabbled in regional northern Thai fare, it’s safe to say it’s unlike anything you know about Thai food. Up there, it’s all mountains and jungles, and their gastronomy tends to be more hearty, pungent, spicy and brothy than the dishes you’re used to.

And Ricker’s obsessed with it. Like, really obsessed. He’s written a cookbook on the subject. He drinks (and sells) Thai vinegar. Dude even cooks with Thai-style charcoal.

We’ve got a word for that here in Chicago: Legit.

Photo from Ricker’s Pok Pok cookbook
At the Chicago Pok Pok pop-up, each dinner will seat 60, and Ricker will serve up a three-course menu complete with beverage pairings from Paul McGee featuring Pok Pok’s line of aforementioned drinking vinegars.

Be forewarned: you’re going to eat a lot of dishes you can’t pronounce, you’re going to trust Ricker regardless, and you’re going to walk away very satisfied. Also worth mentioning: the reason Ricker is in town is to speak at the annual Taste Talks festival. Tickets for that are right here.

But get on the Pok Pok dinners posthaste.

You can always get Pad Thai elsewhere.

Nota bene: If you’re hankering for an authentic taste of northern Thai food in the city and can’t make it to this pop-up, we highly suggest making your way to Aroy Thai.