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Apr 6, 2013 02:59 PM

Asking The Age Old Question Of Whether It's Worth The Drive From The San Gabriel Valley to Eat at Pingtung Eat-in Market on Melrose

Now that we have ROC squared away (NOT), there is another contender for decent Chinese/Taiwanese style dim sum (as well as, ramens, Banh mi, and sushi/sashimi) - Pingtung Eat-in Market.

We had a really excellent fried pork chop over rice, and snow pea leaves w/garlic.

The Banh Mi was a little different, Galbi BBQ beef, but tasty and on excellent bread.

The scallion pancake was fantastic.

The har gow - very, very thick wrapper but tasty.

A beef/chicken roll, not unlike but not exactly the same as 101 noodle express was also darn good.

I prefer it by a long shot to ROC.

Good beer selection, sake and sochu too!

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  1. Only b/c Servog must not have seen this post yet.... ;)

    6 Replies
    1. re: ilysla

      I'll just fly to Hong Kong and quit fiddle-farting around with this candy ass driving to the east side or what-have-you... ;-D>

      1. re: Servorg

        I did just that 2 weeks ago. Separate food trip to Tokyo as well.

        1. re: J.L.

          When I think of Pingtung in southern Taiwan, Hakka Taiwanese style pig foot 萬巒豬腳, Bluefin tuna (festivals and feasts planned around their migration patterns between Apr through summer), sakura ebi (櫻花蝦), and cured fish roe 油魚子 immediately come to mind!

          1. re: K K

            Well the owner is from Pingtung but she has not brought pig foot or sakura ebi to Melrose yet.

        2. re: Servorg

          Well, it's about time someone here got serious about food. ;)

          But back to the original topic.... Pan-asian places tend to make me suspicious, but, at the listed prices, I might be willing to try this one out....

          1. re: ilysla

            I agree pan-asian is usually a sub-par experience and the menu seems like it is doing way too much for way to little. But I was pleasantly surprised.

      2. This has been on my list to try for a few weeks but haven't made it over yet. However whatever I conclude may be biased since I generally don't trust restaurants that serve a combination of Japanese and Chinese food, which typically is lethal.

        1. CB,
          they wrapping their own XLB? You know, for research (and thread implosion) purposes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TonyC

            no xlb, Tony - they said they have a Taiwanese chef/team who trained in country to do Taiwanese style dim sum. Cehck the menu there are a fair-to-low number of standard dim sum offerings - no pastries or griddle items.

          2. Had the chicken roll and the onion pancake. Latter was better than ROC. Both were OK but not SGV quality as the flavors were rather simple. What I'm wondering is being located in the heart of hipster central, what motivation do they have to not dumb things down in the future? At least Sawtelle is a historically Asian district and does draw some Asian clientele. I presume when I went there today I was their token Chinese customer for the week.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chandavkl

              "what motivation do they have to not dumb things "

              The owner does not strike me as a dumb-things-down-type of gal - she is commited to authentic, if eclectic, asian food.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                I have a feeling that yuppies, especially this gen (and especially asian yuppies) tend to look for "authentic" eats.

                Hopefully this trend will make it so places like ROC and pingtung keep making authentic food instead of reverting to westernizing their dishes/menu like older immigrants in the past.

                Though even now, when I scour yelp, I see people complaining about and having issues with some very good authentic food.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  We were at ROC two weeks ago on a Thursday or Friday night. Kids like dumplings and we were on the wrong side of town. Surprisingly, almost 75% of the restaurant was Asian.

                  1. re: JudiAU

                    Asians can hate the drive to the SGV just as much the rest of the Westside...

                2. "The scallion pancake was fantastic." --Ciao Bob

                  I thought it was tasty, but the texture was too mushy for me. It was almost as though it was not cooked through. I have had other scallion pancakes elsewhere and I find most to be too greasy.

                  The har gow were ok, but I agree with you, Ciao Bob, that there was nothing delicate about it. The shrimp inside looked good, but they fell short on flavor.

                  I heard that they had good chilled tea. It was the canned stuff, and while that is not bad, it shows no effort.

                  I really wanted to love Ping Tung, but it is not calling me back.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: liu

                    The mushy onion pancake was reminiscent of what was available in LA maybe 20 years ago. I think they have evolved more into distinct layers since then, something which I've gotten used to.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Chandavkl, you have "gotten used to" the pancakes with distinct layers or the mushy ones of yore?

                      I do appreciate that you chimed in on this. I thought the mushiness was odd...unlike any other scallion pancake I had tried. But it is good to know that it was not undercooked, rather just another style.

                      1. re: liu

                        Gotten used to the more refined pancakes with layers. You can even play with them and deconstruct the pancake as you go along.

                    2. re: liu

                      I just loved the thicker, "mushier" scallion pancake.

                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                        It reminds me of the first time I had the potato pancakes at John O'Groats. They do a "mashed" potato pancake. Now I really enjoy their take on it.