Penang, a Malaysian restaurant on 72nd street between Columbus and Broadway that has been on the Upper West Side for decades, just closed to make way for Legend Chinese restaurant.
Penang’s demise was unexpected (I just got take-out from there three days ago) and it’s a sad day for the neighborhood. Penang has served very good Malaysian food since at least the 1990’s; it used to be on 71st and Columbus in the space currently occupied by Cafe Tallulah. Penang always had a nice relaxed bar scene up front at the 72nd street location; everyone there seemed to be a local.
But a Legend manager we spoke to says that Legend intends to keep serving Penang dishes for the time being, and they are keeping the current chef. In the coming weeks, they’ll also be adding other Asian dishes from the Legend repertoire. Legend, which started in Chelsea, is known for authentic spicy Sichuan food. A few months ago, Legend Upper West opened at 258 West 109th street. Food writer Marisa Olsen reviewed the food for us here.