Dining

Asian Persuasion

Pingtung brings convincing dim sum, and more, to West Hollywood

What do banh mi, ramen and dim sum have in common?

They’re all on the menu at Pingtung Eat-In Market, a stylish new restaurant on Melrose featuring walls lined with a collection of purchasable Pan-Asian groceries.

Usually, that level of culinary confusion wouldn’t inspire confidence. But owner Li Ping--the woman behind such New York City ventures as Kelley & Ping--takes pains to highlight each item rather than muddle it.

A Japanese chef tinkers on the pork-bone ramen, while a chef recruited from Taiwan focuses on dim sum. The latter is Pingtung’s strongest suit.

Outside on a zen-inspiring patio, we shared metal steamer tins filled with plump har gow ($5) and shumai ($5), pan-fried pork buns ($7), and a crisp scallion pancake ($5) better than any we’ve found in Chinatown.

Other highlights included a flaky fried flatbread stuffed with braised chicken and cilantro ($4), and lotus-leaf-wrapped sticky rice studded with Chinese sausage ($5).

You might not mistake this for your favorite dim sum house in San Gabriel. With no carts, no bustling crowds, and a selection of craft beer and Stumptown coffee, though, we think this is the kind of casual brunch West Hollywood’s been missing.

Pingtung Eat-In Market 7455 Melrose Ave. Los Angeles CA 90046 323-866-1866

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