I see from your profile that you are in Portland, so the whole Pok Pok hype train must be extremely irritating to you. Something about the politics of Pok Pok has always bothered me since I first heard about it, especially the aggressive branding of authenticity and incessant claims of niche expertise in Northern Thai cuisine, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a longtime Lotus of Siam loyalist.

This crystalized for me both from reading your piece and the links you included, and how Pok Pok’s attempt at penetrating the Los Angeles market a few years back included the tagline of “bringing authentic Thai food to Los Angeles,” as though the city with the largest number of Thai people and Thai restaurants outside of Asia somehow needed a white guy to bring it authentic Thai cuisine (PS — it didn’t).

There are ways for people from any culture to learn and adapt to any other culture, and these things can be done in a respectful, non-invasive, non-exploitative manner, but this isn’t it.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist. He/Him.

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