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Jan 13, 2013 08:06 PM

New Lao Szechuan in Uptown?

I've been twice. First time with daughter for lunch over the holidays. Very good eggplant and signature dry chili chicken stir fry.
Second trip tonight with dh. Complementary start of "Chinese kim chee". Very tasty spicy cabbage... nice and crisp. Seafood hot and sour soup. A bit tame but very tasty. Not at all 'gloppy' like some which are overthickened. MaPo tofu... delish. No pork. Very tasty. Salt and pepper squid. Nice squid but not much flavor. The winner? An appetizer of green beans chopped up with smoked tofu and fermented black beans. Really yummy. Couple next to us had the iconic lamb with cumin and said it was good but 'too oily'. Interested in hearing more reports.

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  1. I hope it looks/feels cleaner than the one in Chinatown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chicgail

      It's definitely looks/feels cleaner than Chinatown. It's little unchanged from Marigold space, which was pretty nice.

      I've only been to Uptown LSC once (two weeks ago) but it paled in comparison to Chinatown. Most of the dishes were not of the same quality. Also missed the buzz and crowds of the original spot.

    2. We looooove the "green bean spicy black bean sauce"! Our other favorite is the vegetarian chow mein (we always ask for it extra spicy). I am partial to any of the sauteed green vegetables in garlic sauce (they use a lot of garlic) and also think their clear broths are very nice. Happy with the affordability when we eat there - 4 people eat for less than $50 (we were all vegetarians though).

      I've been to the Chinatown one in the past, and was thrilled when the Uptown one opened near us. It's not really the same, though, for 2 major reasons:
      1) we are not happy with the quality of tofu. It is always soggy and not the right consistency; we've ordered several times (both the tofu in mushrooms, the "crispy" tofu, and others) and it never works out. The other skippable item is the "vegetarian chicken" (made with some kind of bean curd) - this is cold and very dull.
      2) they don't have the hot pot!! They have a section on the menu called hot pot, but they bring you essentially a pot of already cooked soup. I miss the old giant platter of things to cook in boiling broth. As well as the buzz / overall feel of the Chinatown one.

      However, it's better than any other place around here, and this has proven a great place to take parents and friends alike, and is our go-to take-out spot. Actually just had it last night and ate our leftovers for dinner today!

      2 Replies
      1. re: deraj

        Sounds like the non-vegetarian menu items are the way to go.

        Incidentally, I have heard that they have renamed the former "mayonnaise shrimp", now "crispy shrimp with lemon sauce". As always, they have Tony's three-chili chicken!

        1. re: nsxtasy

          I went to Lao Sze Chuan's new Uptown location for lunch today. It was pretty good (not fantastic, but reasonably good), and the food seemed of the same quality as the original Chinatown location.

          They have some lunch specials on the menu, so one of the dishes we got was a lunch special. The lunch specials are smaller portions than the regular dinner portions, and attractively priced (mostly $7.95-8.95). They come with appetizer (a forgettable spring roll, in our case) and soup (a tasteless hot and sour soup). The main course we chose was the "chef's special dry chili chicken". I had asked the difference between that and the "Tony's dry-chili chicken", and was told that both are hot but the latter is also sweet. The dry chili dishes are shown on the menu with not just one chili pepper, but two chili peppers. Be forewarned, these dishes are VERY VERY hot (spicy hot), with as many peppers as other ingredients. Unless you're a fan of extremely hot dishes, they will probably be too hot for you. Tasty, but VERY hot. Did I mention just how hot it was? :)

          In addition to the lunch special, we ordered two other dishes. We had the pork pot sticker appetizer, which was okay; it was tasty and the pot stickers were nicely large, but the shell was a bit on the doughy side. We also had the orange prawns main course, and it was very good, although the crust-to-seafood ratio was a bit high (very thick crust, not so big prawns inside). They did not serve the complimentary hot slaw we've had every time at the Chinatown location.

          The new location is very nice, with a trendy contemporary look to it. (I've never found the original to be dirty/unclean, although it certainly seemed, well, dumpy.) Also, the two waitstaff in Uptown were both very fluent in English and able to help answer questions about the menu, which is a welcome change from our experience in the Chinatown location.

          All in all, I'd say Lao Sze Chuan's new Uptown location has food just like the Chinatown location, but in a nicer atmosphere with better waitstaff. I'd go back, but not necessarily rush back.