by Mike Sula
About five and a half years ago I took a survey of the city's Chinese-Korean restaurants—spots that specialize in a very particular style of Chinese food adapted to Korean tastes. What was, and continues to be, remarkable about places like Chang's, Great Sea, VIP Restaurant, New Peking, and Great Beijing, is that they all traffic in long, fresh house-made wheat noodles used in various iterations of ja jiang mian, in which they're tossed in an inky, earthy black bean sauce, or jampong, deep, spicy bowls of seafood soup.
Ping has one noodle dish you don't see anywhere in the city. Titled simply Ping's Noodle Platter, it's a dry version of jampong with an unusually complex, almost smoky sauce (relative to most versions of the soup) tossed with shredded pork, scallops, shrimp, and squid, as well as onions, bean sprouts, and dried red chiles. The seafood is cooked uniformly—no rubbery bits anywhere—but the truly special aspects are the noodles themselves, long and tensile, and with an almost imperceptible irregularity that optimizes sauce adhesion. It's a huge portion for $9.25, but if you've a sidekick along it makes a great one-two punch with one other dish, perhaps the tender yellow leeks with seafood, a relative splurge at $16.95.