Pingpong

September 20 2005 - 5:54 AM

Pingpong is yet another one of those Asian fusion restaurants that seem to be popping up in every neighborhood. Pingpong however is not new to Lakeview. I remember it opening about four years ago, just before I moved out of the neighborhood.  I didn’t get a chance to try it then but I’ve always heard from people in the area that it is a favorite. 

The decor at Pingpoing is minimalist-modern with white being the
dominating color, making the very, very small resturant appear bigger
than it is. Dance music was playing inside at a volume that you would
not be able to carry on a conversation to so we opted, along with
everyone else, for a table outside.  The restaurant is BYOB but they own the wine shop accross the street called Valhalla, so there is no corkage fee if you purchase from
there. 

The menu has a lot of variety, Japaneese sushi, Thai and Chinese-inspired dishes.  Some traditional, like Pad Thai and some with a new
twist, like shrimp or free range chicken lightly breaded and stir fried
with mangos.  Most of the dishes are low fat, and are marked
accordingly. 

We started with the Pingpong roll, which is a traditonal
shrimp tempura roll with avacado.  Next came the sashimi tuna dip.
This original appetizer consisted of chopped tuna with basil infused
sesame oil and mayo served with wonton crackers.  Feeling pretty full
after our two appetizers we ordered one entree, Sweet Hawaiian
basil stir-fried with spicy bamboo, crisp rice noodles and large pieces
of tofu – which was reccommended by our waiter as one of thier most
popular dishes.  It didn’t disapoint.  The dish was sweet with a thick
brown sauce and large pieces of basil. 

What did disapoint however was the service.   The appetizers came
out right away but it was about a 45 minute wait until our single entree
arrived.  The servers had attitude.  Not to the point of being rude but definitely not friendly in anyway.  The food was good. I can see why
people in the neighborhood are loyal to it however, the tight inside
seating, loud music and snippy service would make me regard Pingpong as
place exclusive to take-out.

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