Pok Pok chef’s award-winning Thai food comes to the Bay Area

Crispy wings, curry and more at Local Kitchens in Cupertino, Lafayette, Palo Alto

Chicken wings that are crispy. Sweet potatoes with red curry. Soup with coconut curry noodles.

Northern Thai recipes from James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker, founder of the well-known Pok Pok restaurants, are now available in the Bay Area at Local Kitchens food hall locations in Cupertino, Lafayette, Palo Alto, and Mill Valley.

Ricker fell in love with northern Thai cuisine while backpacking there in 1987, and then trained to master the flavors. He opened Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon, in 2005 and expanded the acclaimed concept to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York over the next 15 years. According to his website, the pandemic forced Ricker to close all of his locations in 2020 for the safety of his employees.

His recipes, however, live on through his numerous cookbooks and now the Local Kitchens option.

“Thai is a cuisine that many of our guests have requested, so working with Chef Andy to bring this menu to life is a privilege,” said Chef Matthew Rudofker, the head of culinary options for Local Kitchens, in announcing the collaboration. Ricker currently resides in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Tam Sang, Ricker’s new concept, offers four dishes: The crispy Chicken Wings, finished with fried shallots and served with a house-made Sri-Rancha dressing and a sweet-and-smoky chile sauce; Yam Yai, a meal-sized salad of greens, chicken, vegetables, pickled garlic, fried tofu, and chopped peanuts served with a house-made Sri-Rancha dressing; the vegan/vegetarian Red Curry with Sweet Potato and Thai Basil, served with jasmine rice;

Local Kitchens has eight Bay Area micro food halls, as well as Sacramento area locations in Davis, Roseville, and Granite Bay.

Tam Sang menus are available in Palo Alto (369 California Avenue), Cupertino (21666 Stevens Creek Blvd.), Lafayette (3455 Mt. Diablo Blvd.), and Mill Valley (741 E. Blithedale). Hours vary; check www.localkitchens.com for details.

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