Pig & Khao

68 Clinton Street off Rivington Street
$87 for 2 people, with 2 beers, without tip
♥ ♥ ♥

Pork, with a side of pork, is what I always hear when Filipino food is being described to me by other people. Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen sticks to that mantra at Pig & Khao, a Southeast Asian restaurant with a lot of Filipino and Thai influences.

As soon as we walked to the outdoor space to be seated, I felt immediately at home seeing the sun decals on the wall that come from the flag of the motherland. The menu was very familiar too, with crispy pata (roasted pig’s thigh), green mangoes, sisig (sizzling pig’s face) with egg, chicharon (pork rinds), and adobo. Cohen has added her own spin to the dishes: the pork rinds with spices that included cinnamon and the adobo using quail with Sichuan peppercorns.

There’s no shortage of fish sauce and vinegar flavors, and when coconut was used in the rice and in the cod, my eyes rolled back because of the richness and tastiness of the flavor profiles. My only regret is not coming with more people so that we can try and share more plates.