Every single bite in every single place? Wow!
Places I like: Little Tong, 99 Favor Taste, Little Sheep, Wu’s Wonton King, Mala Project. If you’ve tried all those and hate them, your standards are so much higher than mine that I can’t help you.
thanks for the recs @small_h, I have been to a few of them.
Coming from LA which admittedly has the strongest Chinese food scene in the US (but still well behind Asia) I was not expecting anything comparable, however the lack of progress in NYC over the past 20+years is quite unexpected. The landscape is still littered with hole in the wall, divey joints with mediocre quality ingredients. There seems to be a critical mass of new Chinese residents with $$$ (hanging out in high end sushi bars) in the city but it does not appear the Chinese restaurant scene has caught up. I was hoping DaDong would set off a new revolution - alas that place is a cluster$%&#. The Japanese food scene has evolved very well, Korean so-so but still well ahead of the Chinese in comparison.
So far whenever my SO has insisted on Chinese I’ll begrudgingly concede only to Congee Village or Pinch.
Curious why, when living in LA, your SO would insist on Chinese when in NY. We live in Reno/Tahoe where we great super Mexican food. When we visit Seattle, several times a year, we no longer try Mexican. It’s subpar and why settle when there’s so much other great food. Just a thought.
There are a few new-ish high end places like Hakkasan, which I have been to (was not overly impressed) and Chinese Tuxedo, which I have not been to. You’re right that there aren’t many fancy or creative Chinese restaurants, but we’re getting a fair number of specialists in one regional cuisine or another, like Xi’an Famous Foods and Szechuan Mountain House. There was also a pretty nice Yunnan place on the Lower East Side, but it closed.
Szechuan Mtn House looks promising - thanks. So far I’ve tried several Szechuan joints between the low teens to 50th St. not good…
Chinese Tuxedo feels like another Red Farm phenomenon I’ve noticed in the city. Higher quality ingredients, better service & ambiance, $$$ upcharge and targeted primarily to non-Asian clientele but not necessarily good… more like fancy takeout Chinese
@catholiver SO has a dairy allergy which limits a huge segment of dining options in the city. We presently spend more time in NY vs LA.
Yuck. So that eliminates a lot of Italian
There is a lot of that going around. See also: King’s County Imperial, which just opened near me, and which is pretty good, but not what you’re looking for. The restaurants I’ve been to that seem to have a largely Chinese clientele (outside of Chinatown) are places like China Blue in Tribeca. If you do discover something you think is great, or at least doesn’t @$#?'ing blow, I’d be interested in knowing about it. As noted previously, my standards aren’t all that high. I frequently get delivery from Congee Village and Sichuan Hotpot and Flaming Kitchen and am generally happy with all three.
I may have to retract my original rant. Went to Szechuan Mountain House on Friday night and its by far the best Chinese meal I’ve had so far in NYC.
Checked all the right boxes - ambiance, service, 80+% Asian/Chinese clientele and most importantly the food - legit, not altered for western palate! You know you’re in a good Szechuan restaurant when you can’t see anything besides chilies on the plate . Can’t believe I’ve walked past it so many times and never stopped in.
Thanks @small_h!!! SO is also very grateful.
That’s great! So glad I could help you out.