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La Vie en Szechuan Reviews List

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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.
43 Current Reviews
Summary of Diner Ratings & Reviews
Overall 
3.6 / 5
(Very Good) 3.6 / 5
(43 Reviews)
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Breakdown 43 reviews
5 stars
(6)
4 stars
(21)
3 stars
(10)
2 stars
(3)
1 star
(3)
Food 
4.3 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.3 / 5
Service 
3.3 / 5
(Very Good) 3.3 / 5
Ambiance 
2.9 / 5
(Good) 2.9 / 5
Noise Level
2.3 / 3
Energetic
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Filter Reviews By:
Diners classify this restaurant as:
  • fit for foodies(19)
  • good for groups(10)
  • great for lunch(9)
  • neighborhood gem(9)
  • hot spot(5)
  • kid-friendly(2)
La Vie en Szechuan Reviews List
Review 1 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/26/2015
 2012
Dined on 12/26/2015
 2012
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Dined on 12/26/2015
 2012
Special Features: hot spot, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/20/2015
 2013
Dined on 11/20/2015
 2013
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"Hope your spice tolerance is high"
Dined on 11/20/2015
 2013
0points
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Review 3 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Koreatown Gem

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
"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
 2008
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

disappointed at Xmas

Food 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Value 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
"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!"
Dined on 12/25/2015
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/25/2015
 2007
Dined on 12/25/2015
 2007
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Dined on 12/25/2015
 2007
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Long wait despite OpenTable reservation

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Value 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
"I had made a reservation for 7 pm and we didn't get seated until 8:15 pm. The restaurant management seem to have trouble managing the flow and did not pay much attention to OpenTable reservations.
That said, food was great and table wait staff were good."
Dined on 12/24/2015
 2007
Special Features: fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Dined on 12/17/2015
 2011
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/04/2015
 2013
Dined on 12/04/2015
 2013
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"Good Chinese food, especially if you like spicy food."
Dined on 12/04/2015
 2013
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/06/2015
 2008
Dined on 12/06/2015
 2008
Dined on 12/06/2015
 2008
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 10 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 11/29/2015
 2002
Special Features: good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 11 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 9/05/2015
 2012
Dined on 9/05/2015
 2012
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 9/05/2015
 2012
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 12 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/20/2015
 2010
Dined on 11/20/2015
 2010
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 11/20/2015
 2010
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 13 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 11/04/2015
 2014
Dined on 11/04/2015
 2014
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
Dined on 11/04/2015
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 14 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

great food, not cute!

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"great food, probably one of the best Szechuan places i've been to and i love good chinese food"
Dined on 10/30/2015
 2012
Special Features: fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 15 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

great restaurant. no reservations.

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"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
 2011
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, hot spot, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 16 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 1/27/2014
 2013
Dined on 1/27/2014
 2013
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 1/27/2014
 2013
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 17 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 10/08/2015
 2007
Special Features: fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 18 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

hot spicy szechuan craziness, be prepared to yell

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 10/02/2015
 2011
Dined on 10/02/2015
 2011
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 10/02/2015
 2011
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 19 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

They don't take reservations

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"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
 2014
Special Features: good for groups, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 20 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

will not honor open table reservations

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"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."
Dined on 9/04/2015
 2007
Special Features: hot spot, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 21 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 8/28/2015
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 22 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 8/24/2015
 2013
Dined on 8/24/2015
 2013
Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 8/24/2015
 2013
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 23 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

Reservation for 9pm

Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Had a reservation for 9pm, was told upon entering that the kitchen closes at 10, while eating to be brought the bill in the middle of dinner is quite frustrating."
Dined on 8/15/2015
 2009
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 24 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 8/14/2015
 2004
Dined on 8/14/2015
 2004
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
Dined on 8/14/2015
 2004
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 25 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 7/23/2015
 2014
Dined on 7/23/2015
 2014
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 7/23/2015
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 26 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 5/05/2015
 2015
Dined on 5/05/2015
 2015
Food 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 5/05/2015
 2015
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 27 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 6/09/2015
 2008
Special Features: great for lunch, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 28 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 6/04/2015
 2004
Dined on 6/04/2015
 2004
Food 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 6/04/2015
 2004
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, great for lunch
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 29 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 5/10/2015
 2013
Dined on 5/10/2015
 2013
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
Dined on 5/10/2015
 2013
Special Features: hot spot, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 30 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2014
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2014
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"It is definitely Chinese hot food! You have to order first because the line is so long !"
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 31 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5

great Price, great food

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2015
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2015
Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"Typical chinese food, very friendly service and zero expensive. I'll come back for sure!"
Dined on 2/13/2015
 2015
Special Features: neighborhood gem, good for groups, fit for foodies, kid-friendly
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 32 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5

No table is reserved for reservations!

Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Ambiance 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"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."
Dined on 1/23/2015
 2013
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 33 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Take home

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5
Noise Level
Moderate
Moderate
"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
 2015
Special Features: hot spot, special occasion, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 34 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
3 / 5
(Good) 3 / 5

Reservation

Customer Avatar
OpenTable Diner Since
Dined on 12/17/2014
 2014
Dined on 12/17/2014
 2014
Food 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
1 / 5
(Poor) 1 / 5
Noise Level
Energetic
Energetic
"I made my reservation online. And they refused to honor it even though I have a confirmation. I had to wait 30 minutes."
Dined on 12/17/2014
 2014
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 35 for La Vie en Szechuan
Overall rating 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5

Phenomenal food!

Food 
5 / 5
(Outstanding) 5 / 5
Service 
4 / 5
(Very Good) 4 / 5
Ambiance 
2 / 5
(Fair) 2 / 5
Noise Level
Quiet
Quiet
"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
 2005
Special Features: neighborhood gem, fit for foodies
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Ratings-Only Reviews for La Vie en Szechuan
Based on the average of (8) ratings-only reviews
Overall 
3.9 / 5
(Very Good) 3.9 / 5
5 out of 5 recommend this product
Food 
4.1 / 5
(Outstanding) 4.1 / 5
Service 
3.8 / 5
(Very Good) 3.8 / 5
Ambiance 
2.9 / 5
(Good) 2.9 / 5
Noise Level
2.8 / 3
Energetic