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La Vie en Szechuan
From New York Times: The restaurant’s name, La Vie en Szechuan, is less a nod to Edith Piaf than a worldly sounding pitch to the moneyed Chinese who make their way to New York. With this comes less oil in the cooking and more decorative presentations. The marvel is that the chef, Zhong Qing Wang, a native of Chengdu, refines Sichuan flavors without extinguishing them.
"My wife took a long time to read through the complicated, extensive menu, but the staff was very helpful describing various dishes and recommending others. We ended up splitting the two-lobster special. It was fantastic. Very fresh lobsters sauteed in a spicy broth with ginger, Chinese scallions, and other vegetables we couldn't identify (the hostess warned us that it was "very spicy", but, to us anyway, it seemed just right).
We also ordered a side of green beans in garlic, also delicious.
They were packed at lunch, and the ratio was about 30:1, Asian. I suggest making a reservation."
Dined on 12/28/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch, fit for foodies
"We made a reservation for Xmas evening for 3, arrived early, had heard it was great. There was a crowd of people outside on the sidewalk and inside the restaurant, at the entrance. We were told they could not honor our reservation, as people "stayed longer" than they anticipated. They gave us a card to go to their "other" restaurant, where they assured us we would have no problems. We decided to go to a favorite South Indian restaurant on Curry Hill instead, and will never return to La Vie en Szechuan!"
"this is a great restaurant, but they shouldn't be on opentable. they do not have a reservation system. you show up and put your name on the list...reservation or not. i made a reservation for 2 at 7:30 and we were seated after 8pm. you just have to wait outside on the ugly sidewalk and keep bugging them until they give you something. also i had the distinct impression speaking chinese would get you seated faster. other than that it's great... very authentically sichuan-style chinese. they simply are first-come-first-served, which is fine but do not think that you have a reservation simply because you placed one here."
Dined on 10/07/2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, hot spot, fit for foodies
"I went there and told them I have a reservation at 7 but the lady at front desk told me I had to wait because there were so many people waiting... so what's the point to have your restaurant on Opentable?
The food was good though. I am from Sichuan and their food are the best spicy food I had in NYC."
Dined on 9/04/2015
Special Features: good for groups, fit for foodies
"Food is good – spicy, greasy, flavorful – characteristic of Szechuan food. However, just a warning about using Open Table for this place. I made a reservation using Open Table for a party of 7 on Friday night. There was a range of times available so I should have known something was up. Big mistake! Apparently they don't honor reservations made online. This is not a high-tech place where they check their computer. In fact they told me their computer was down indefinitely. You need to stop by in person or call to make sure you have a reservation."
"We went as a large group. Some friends arrived before the reservation time and they were told by the staff that no table was available and the whole group needed to be present for seating. All of us arrived within 10 minutes of the scheduled time, but we still didn't get a table until 45 minutes after our scheduled time. Apparently no table was reserved for our reservation. I strongly ask OpenTable to remove this restaurant from the offering list of restaurants. As a native Chinese, I know that a lot of Chinese restaurants do not accept reservations and that the whole group needs to be present for seating. But it is dishonest to take reservations online while reserves no table in the restaurant."
"We liked the food very much. It matched the quality of the best Szechuan restaurant we have found somewhere in Beijing's outskirts. And we, Europeans, were "outsiders" as we were there. We envy New Yorkers and would like to take this restaurant home."
Dined on 2/06/2015
Special Features: hot spot, special occasion, fit for foodies
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Review 34 for La Vie en Szechuan
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/17/2014
Dined on 12/17/2014
"I made my reservation online. And they refused to honor it even though I have a confirmation. I had to wait 30 minutes."
"This place does very authentic Szechuan food, and it shows: it was absolutely packed on a Wednesday night. Dishes were rich in flavor, spicy without being overwhelmed. The atmosphere is a bit chaotic, tables too close together, and too narrow, making eating from several plates a bit of a challenge. Yet again, the quality of the food absolutely over-compensates for the lack of comfort. I'd like to single out the hostess Vivian as one terrific asset: from greeting customers to taking orders and making sure everything runs smoothly, she is a one-woman show: Vivian owns the place! I am definitely going back to La Vie en Szechuan, as soon as I am back to NYC!"
Dined on 11/26/2014
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies