The Fatty Crew Hospitality Group (Fatty Crab, Fatty 'Cue...) is well-established in New York in its particular form of Southeast Asian restaurant, true to the flavors of the region if not always specific dishes, food taken seriously but served in essentially casual restaurants, with a sense of humor and plenty to drink.
Pig & Khao, the first restaurant from former Top Chef contestant Leah Cohen (in partnership with the Fatty team), falls neatly into that genre. Her points of departure are Thailand and the Philippines, rather than Zak Pelaccio's usual Malaysia, but aren't always orthodox interpretations. (Salmon skin chips, the salmon from nearby Russ & Daughters, make an appearance; a grilled chicken salad is alive with flavors of lime and fish sauce and cilantro and dried shrimp, but isn't an interpretation of any particular Thai dish.) But the invocation of hot, sweet, and sour is all there; more than a few bites had us reaching for a bite of raw cabbage to cool our mouths down.
It's a long, slim space with an open kitchen, the welcome smell of grilling wafting through the place even in the early hour we were there. But while early autumn's still with us, the better seats might be out back. They're intending to keep the partially covered outdoor patio open through the year as long as weather permits. In the corner, they're installing a tap where, for $15, you've got self-serve all-you-can-drink beer with your meal. (Expect beers to rotate; it might be PBR, might be a Brooklyn Lager...)
Check out the slideshow for a peek at a few dishes and cocktails.