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Wu Liang Ye - Lex - underwhelming

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It should have been a signal since there hadn't been any significant buzz since late 2006 but it was close to my hotel and WLY was better populated than several of the nearby restaurants.

Really disappointing. At $9 - $13 plus per entree it is one to two dollars more than I am used to paying in San Francisco but it is NYC so it wasn't inexpensive, either.

Everything we had had a curiously flat flavor - chicken in lettuce cups, baby eggplant w/spicy garlic sauce(in a gloppy hot sauce), Szechwan beef, Lo Mein with Pork. I was looking enviously at the next table where they were having some kind of hot pot dish but I didn't even see it on the menu, it might have been Westlake Beef Chowder.

Are there any dishes that are good at this location or have they just gotten lazy since it is not a "neighborhood" place where they do not depend on repeat business?

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  1. Just go to Szechuan Gourmet on 39th St. between 5th and 6th, instead.

    1. I've always enjoyed my meal there. Last time there, I got the hot pot. There is a sign in the window but you don't get the hotpot menu unless you ask for it. It was very good, we got the ying/yang with one side spicy and the other not. I have never had hot pot so i can't compare it to any other place. But it is a humumous amount of food (i think a minimum of $35 or $40 worth of meat/veggies). There were 2 of us and we barely made a dent.

      The other things I like there including Braised beef with chili, dan dan noodles, stir fried chicken with spicy capsicum and double cooked pork. Even though I like it, I think Szechuan Gourmet is better.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ESNY

        >I have never had hot pot so i can't compare it to any other place.

        Check out Grand Szechuan on Canal St. I've sampled its hot pot four or five times and never been disappointed.

      2. to be fair you ordered fairly americanized dishes at a sichuan restaurant, which i'd generally expect to be pretty bad...i agree with pan that szechuan gourmet is better (although WLY is one of the better sichuan restaurants in the city)

        i just looked at the menu on menupages for the lex branch menu...try the sliced beef tendons, ma po tofu (i generally think the WLY's do a good job on this dish), dan dan noodles, chengdu wontons, tea smoked duck (not my favorite dish, but people generally like this alot), braised beef with napa cabbage. That should be enough recs for you

        1 Reply
        1. re: Lau

          Good point ----since I was traveling with my parents who are in their late 70s I couldn't order the Dan dan noodles or any of the duck dishes. I should have gone with the braised beef dishes though, and will know next time to ask for the hot pot menu. It looked very, very good. Thanks to all for the recs, I am in Manhattan every other year.