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“The food is very authentic”
Review of La Vie En Szechuan

La Vie En Szechuan
Ranked #4,392 of 13,823 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Chinese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Midtown
Cross street: Between Madison Ave. and 5th Ave.
Transit: 33 St (4, 6, 6X) 34 St - Herald Sq (B, D, F, M, N, Q, R) 28 St (N, R)
Phoenix, AZ
2 reviews
“The food is very authentic”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

The food is very authentic. A little pricey but acceptable considering the central Manhattan location. Be aware most dishes are hot and spicy, for those who really love "Chuan Cai", this is a very good choice.

We were there the other day, have to wait 30 minutes before any table is available.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Fishingsnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Not that good”
Reviewed August 21, 2013

I don't know if we had bad luck with who was cooking the night we went, or ordered poorly, but our experience didn't match up with the NY Times' glowing experience. We ordered 5 appetizers for two of us for dinner, and 3 were served in puddles of oil. Yes it was chili flavored, but still grease. The best was clear noodles with spicy meat on top. Extremely hard to eat because of the slippery texture and the fact that they were small pieces--not like the big ones shown in the menu photo. Eggplant with peppers was good if you avoided the huge amount of salted black beans. They weren't well integrated into the sauce and they are extremely salty. Ribs (ordered because the kitchen was out of house cured meats & sausage) were well cooked but not interesting. Only flavored with smoke, no dry rub or anything, and not served with sauce. Szechuan dumplings were ok-sauce was interesting once you could blend together the various elements that just seemed to be dumped in, but the filling was pretty bland. I found the black mushrooms to sometimes have a bitter taste and I just didn't enjoy them. Overall, I'd hope one can do better for Szechuan food in Manhattan.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kbarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
136 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Authentic but a little bland and uncomfortable”
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Get a table away from the hostess stand and cash register because that is where the staff hangs out and discusses the patrons. Also someone gave them a mandate to turn the tables over as quickly as possible because the hover over you until you leave. Food was OK but a little on the oily side.

Visited April 2013
Thank toughnlcentral
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
241 reviews
174 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 193 helpful votes
“Szechuan champ -- an all around winner”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Hiding in plain sight on an unlikely, otherwise blah location in the shadow of the mighty Empire State Building this pocket-sized temple of Szechuan cuisine delivers way above appearances and prejudices there might be about this part of town. The food here, from an ample, well-illustrated menu, is simply delicious and beautifully presented --a delight for palate and eyes. The service is beyond friendly. Do not be put off by the unostentatious location and decor and the enigmatic Franco-Chinese moniker; this is a place for seriously good eating. If you fancy Szechuan delights, spicy or not, courteous service and reasonable tabs this placed deserves serious consideration. I'll go farther: it treated us to one of the tastiest Szechuan feasts (not to be missed unless one's a vegetarian: several melt-in-the-mouth pork belly dishes).

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kaibab1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“First Rate Szechuan Cuisine!”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Definitely one of the best Chinese restaurants i've been to in NYC -- and i go to many. Truly authentic Szechuan cooking with an extensive menu. Ask the waiters to guide you out of your chicken and broccoli comfort zone. Unpretentious, fairly priced, good for lunch or dinner

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank slwjosh123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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