If you're always like, "My one dream in life is to be able to eat delicious Asian cuisine at an adorable cafe, then shop for hard-to-find groceries from around the world in that same space, then ride off on a pony with a bedazzled saddle", Pingtung is the place where 66% of your dreams can come true. Sitting right on Melrose, the low-key Asian cafe/grocery store comes from a lauded NYC restaurateur and features an all-star line up of Eastern specialities in both the eatery and on the shelves. The Food: Like Rivers Cuomo's girlfriends, selections range from all over Asia, including traditional Vietnamese banh mi, tonkotsu ramen from Japan, and a strong-to-very-strong dim sum selection, including these chicken shumai. The Store: Condiments and accoutrements that the owner loves from around the globe mean everything from Taiwanese pancake mix, to Chinese shrimp chips, to, um, Frank's Red Hot? The Everything Else: They've got Kirin and three other beers on draft, a diverse sake selection, and a massive/ unusual loose-leaf tea program, with 16+ varieties served in the multiple-steeping, kinda-like-French-press-but-Taiwanese fashion they call "gongfu".
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