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May 19, 2011 11:40 AM

Cheap Asian in Chelsea?--particularly lunch

There must be two or three dozen Asian restaurants with lunch specials in the $7.50-10.00 range on 7,8,9 avenue between 14th and 23rd Street. The variety includes Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese as well as places that have pan-Asian menus, usually with a Thai focus. The Chinese places look grim, though you never know, but most of the others seem inviting. Does anyone make a practice of lunching Asian in this area? Can you recommend places to go to or to avoid? Authenticity not a high priority, nor is portion size--I'm looking for light, pleasant, tasty, safe lunching. And if one or two of these places are particularly nice in the evening, that's worth knowing too.

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    1. re: kathryn

      These look great, thx, but except for Tebaya (which is really a takeout place) these are all in the upper 20s....anything further south? Below 23rd is really a different nabe.

      144 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

    2. Co Ba isn't bad for slightly Americanized Vietnamese. It's very pleasant in the evening. Some of the cocktails are interesting.

      Chelsea Thai in Chelsea Market isn't bad for slightly Americanized Thai.

      Co Ba
      110 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      Chelsea Thai
      75 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      1. Legend Sichuan Chinese restaurant (with some Vietnamese dishes) should be good for this, they have very good food -

        88 7th Ave , New York NY10011
        (Btwn 15th & 16th St


        88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

        4 Replies
        1. re: buttertart

          I thought of Legend, too, but I didn't see any lunch specials on the online menus. I know they used to have a (dreadful) Vietnamese and crappy, generic Chinese American lunch special menu when Safran first became Legend... The regular Legend menu is pretty pricey and probably above OP's range for lunch.

          1. re: michelleats

            Not online but I'm quite sure we were offered lunch special menus the last time we were there.

            1. re: buttertart

              It seems like one of those restaurants that offers a very bifurcated dining experience. What I've tried of the regular menu has been mostly fair, but every time I've had the misfortune of ordering from the lunch special menu, the food has been extremely bad. Of course, the last time I attempted this was many months ago (probably late last year). It's always possible the lunch offerings have drastically improved.

              1. re: michelleats

                We ate there yesterday - we had ma po doufu among other things and because of this discussion I asked the waitress if the lunch menu version was the same as the dish from the Sichuan menu. She said yes - and that the gong bao ji ding (gong bao chicken) and hui guo rou (twice-cooked pork) were also the real thing, the rest of the lunch specials were American Chinese food.

        2. Legend puts out a very limited Szechuan menu and the rest of their offerings are all over the culinary map.

          1 Reply
          1. re: scoopG

            It's surprisingly good. The woman next to us (Beijingren, from the accent) was eating and obviously enjoying what looked like a delicious pickled veg and fish soup (in a huge bowl) that we definitely want next time. The Sichuan menu itself is quite broad but the lunch special Sichuan dishes are indeed limited as noted above.

          2. Try Qi, Fast service, tasty food.

            31 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

            1 Reply
            1. re: ciomar

              Went to Qi for an early dinner, shared a vegetable dosa, a mild green chicken curry, mushroom spring rolls. All the food was good, service pleasant. The restaurant is very attractive--long communal tables are a bit informal, but that's OK. Just what I was looking for when I put in the query. Much thanks.