Mon-Fri, 11:30am-11:30pm; Sat, noon-11:30pm; Sun, 3pm-11:30pm
6 at 68th St.-Hunter College
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
55th St. to 92nd St., FDR Dr. to Fifth Ave.
Viang Ping is like the antenna-topped tube TV that sits at the back of the Thai restaurant: satisfactory, if not stylish. That’s just fine with the restaurant’s patrons, neighborhood folks who seem to enjoy watching cop dramas while munching on their pad Thai. Though one exposed-brick wall threatens to darken the restaurant’s narrow interior, light-wood trim and colorful Thai tapestries brighten it up, along with a tangle of red and blue Christmas lights. There are a few bright spots on the otherwise-run-of-the-mill menu, like the flaky, buttery curry puffs, stuffed with a soft mixture of chicken, potato, and yellow curry and served with a sweet, clear cucumber sauce. Massive portions of curry swimming in white ceramic bowls pack a modestly spicy punch, while the pad kee mao is a smartly seasoned concoction of wide, chewy rice noodles, chiles, scallions, and fresh green and red peppers. But don’t wait until the weekend to try this spot: Between $5.95 and $6.95 per dish, the weekday lunch specials are tough to beat.Recommended Dishes
Curry puffs, $5.95; Pad Kee Mao, $8.95