After five years on the Upper East Side, Angkor Cambodian Bistro is closing as a direct result of the pandemic. In a note on their website, owners Minh and Mandy Truong write, “We must sadly come to terms that the current crisis is not something we can weather.”
The Cambodian dishes at Angkor are uniformly delicious and hard to find in the area. But still, Angkor was one of the best kept secrets of the UES, which no longer feels quite so charming now that they’re closing.
Angkor’s sweet barbecued pork sausage deserved its own photo on a Times Square billboard or an ad in the New York Times Style section. Angkor’s tables should have been booked two weeks in advance, and its rice flour banh chao crepe should have been part of daily office small talk.
What can we do for Angkor now? For the rest of July, you can order takeout or delivery, or stop by their patio for limited outdoor dining. Call 212-758-2111 to place your order or reserve a table ahead of time.
What can we do for other small, independent restaurants like Angkor that are in danger of closing?
1) Get congress to pass The Restaurants Act, which would create a $120 billion grant program for non-chain restaurants who have lost business in the wake of federally mandated social-distancing orders. Read more about getting involved with their initiative and the easy ways to contact your representatives here.
Here’s what to order from Angkor before it closes:
These two triple decker lollipops of barbecued pork meatballs are perfect summer food. They’re sweet, meaty, highly addicting, and come with a sticky rice dipping sauce.
For our fellow fish lovers out there, this red curry noodle dish with ground fish will feel like an engagement ring. Except you get to eat it and you don’t have to plan a wedding during a global health crisis.
There’s no lettuce in this salad. Which got us thinking: what if all salads used sliced duck instead of boring lettuce? Well, we’d all have severe heart problems, but if those salads were nearly as acidic and fresh as Angkor’s, we’d probably be okay with it. Salad is a social construct anyway.