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.
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