0

Pearl Lian Bistro, Bakery and Bar

11600 Medlock Bridge Road,

Duluth

678-205-1326

•Owner: Andy Fang

•Open since: Dec. 14, 2005

•Capacity: The restaurant seats 160.

•Location: Pearl Lian is located in a new strip shopping center on Medlock Bridge Road in Duluth. If traveling north, the restaurant is on the left, about 1.5 miles north of Ga. Highway 120.

•The name: Pearl Lian comes from "pieu lian," which means "beautiful" in Chinese.

•Hours: The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

•Atmosphere: The restaurant's decor features strong Asian influences. "We wanted to mix the West and the East," said owner Andy Fang.

Many of the materials and objects at Pearl Lian came from China. "All of the lighting we brought from China," Fang said.

The restaurant is divided into three rooms. A long onyx bar is located in the front room. "Lots of palaces in China use onyx," Fang said.

Booths with high-backed benches and marble tables line the walls of the middle room. A window in this dining room provides a view of the kitchen. "You can actually see people cooking in front of you," Fang said.

The third room can be closed off and used as a private dining room. It includes a large Japanese-style rock garden and a glassed-in area with a roof of traditional Chinese tiles.

•The food: Pearl Lian offers contemporary Asian cuisine. The menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, sushi and entrees.

Customers often order the calamari, which is fried, then drizzled with ginger soy glaze. The appetizer menu also includes the coconut-crusted shrimp and the vegetable and pork pot stickers.

Entrees include dishes cooked in a wok, such as sesame beef and black pepper chicken curry, and meats like the Mandarin barbecue spare ribs and an Asian-style filet mignon. The papaya chutney lamb chops are one of the restaurant's signature dishes.

Seafood is also available. A house specialty is the seared sesame seed-crusted tuna. The sushi-grade tuna loin is served over wasabi mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Afternoon tea is served daily from 3 to 5 p.m.

•Beverages: The restaurant serves Coke products, as well as a selection of hot tea and coffee. Beer and wine are available as well.

•Desserts: The menu includes dishes such as green tea creme brulee, which is topped with fresh fruit, and the tofu cheesecake. A glass display case in the front room features additional cakes and pastries. Everything is made at the restaurant.

•Things you might not know: Fang designed the floral arrangements in the restrooms and the bamboo walls himself. He used real maple leaves to decorate the glass in the doors to the restrooms.

"I used to own a flower shop in Los Angeles," he said.

Fang came to Atlanta in 1998 and founded the Great Panda restaurant chain in 1989. He still owns eight Great Panda locations. He also owns Lon U restaurant in Norcross. In addition, Fang owns several restaurants in China.

n Snow crab sushi roll: Alaskan king crab, cucumber and masago. Served with pickled ginger wasabi and soy sauce ($9).

•Pineapple chicken spinach salad: Grilled chicken breast served over baby spinach, carrots, tomatoes, pineapple, cucumbers and mushrooms tossed in a pineapple vinaigrette ($10).

•Mandarin beef: Beef strips, bean sprouts, scallions and almonds in a sweet dark sauce (lunch: $8).

•Barbecue salmon: Hibachi-grilled Alaskan salmon served over vegetables and twice-cooked rice pilaf with a sweet teriyaki barbecue sauce ($15).

•Mango and Passion Fruit Parfait: Sponge cake layered with mango and passion fruit mousse. Topped with fresh berries ($7).