HUNAN PARK’S IDENTITY CRISIS CONTINUES

hunan park

Hunan Park, a Chinese restaurant on Columbus between 95th and 96th, changed its name to Big Apple Asian Cuisine a few months ago and began to raise its prices. But the transformation didn’t stick — the restaurant is now named Hunan Park again, and it appears that the prices are beginning to slide lower again.

The pepper steak, for instance, was $11 at the original Hunan Park, it rose to $14 at Big Apple, and is now down to $13.

As one Yelp reviewer wrote, Big Apple’s higher prices didn’t seem justified:

“The food was priced higher but the quality was not what I came to expect from them. Hunan was on a slow downward spiral but these guys completed the transition to mediocrity. I will mourn what once was arguably the best Chinese food on the Upper West Side north of 86th Street!”

Hunan Park does not appear to have (re)started out on a great foot: the health department gave it a score of 30 on its most recent inspection:

Violation points: 30

Sanitary Violations
1) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.
2) Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding.
3) Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
4) Canned food product observed dented and not segregated from other consumable food items.
5) Accurate thermometer not provided in refrigerated or hot holding equipment.
6) Non-food contact surface improperly constructed. Unacceptable material used. Non-food contact surface or equipment improperly maintained and/or not properly sealed, raised, spaced or movable to allow accessibility for cleaning on all sides, above and underneath the unit.

Thanks to Mark for the photo.

FOOD, NEWS | 15 comments | permalink
    1. Anna says:

      We live a block away and 4 generations of our family enjoyed eating here until around 5 years ago when the quality went so far down that we will no longer go there.

    2. Sean says:

      What a dump!

    3. Christine E says:

      The best Chinese food on the UWS N of 86th was 88 Noodle, on Columbus between 87th and 88th. Sadly long gone. They had some unique specials that I have only been able to find since in Chinatown.

    4. T says:

      What is the best Chinese Food delivery place on the UWS now? I can’t seem to find a place that really fits the bill for classic cheap General Tso’s and Fried Dumplings, one of my all time favorite lazy/indulgent dinners. Your feedback is appreciated.

      • Bill says:

        For years my go-to place was Ivy’s on 72nd Street, but since it has morphed into Amcook it has gone seriously downhill. Canteen 82 has all the basics, plus some good Shanghai-style specials (soup dumplings, yummm), but they have some VERY surly delivery guys! Highest quality Asian food at the moment (IMHO) is Fuscha … not traditional “UWS Chinese” and fairly expensive, but the fried dumplings, crispy duck/crab buns, rock shrimp tempura, etc. are all first-rate. Fast and friendly delivery, too. Still, I wish Ivy’s would return.

      • RK says:

        Legends isn’t too bad. It’s no Chun Cha Fu..

    5. Bruce Bernstein says:

      I like Legend’s on 109th… but it is really spicy hot. I think you can get them to tone down the spice.

      Their dishes with standard names like General Tsos Chicken can still be a little unusual.

      http://legendupperwest.com/

    6. ScooterStan says:

      On a more positive note, none of the Health Dept. violations involved critters running, flying, or crawling about!

      Especially missing was the usual one about them flies called Phorid Flies.

      Which is good, b/c Flies Named Phorid are ….(wait 4 it) …….. Horrid!

    7. adam i says:

      speaking of a Hunan Park identity crises, the former Hunan on 98th & Broadway (or “Bradway” as the new awning said before they blacked it out) is pretty good, but seems to be in trouble. It has a slightly more ambitious menu with slightly higher prices but it looks like the same old place with a badly painted awning. Give it a try T, I just wish i could tell you what the hell it’s called now. If all else fails, there’s always Empire Szechuan on 101. Uneven but decent & cheap. That’s the UWS mantra, right?

      • Sam says:

        The restaurant is called Szechuan Gourmet 98. It’s an outpost of the Szechuan Gourmet “franchise” from Flushing. I agree, it’s very good, without a doubt the most authentic Chinese food in the neighborhood specializing in Szechuan style cuisine.

    8. stuart says:

      Is there any decent UWS old fashioned Cantonese, which was the only style of Chinese food in NY for years? It’s what we grew up on. My digestive system cannot deal with spucy. Thanks

      • Richard Chaleff says:

        The LA NUEVA VICTORIA restaurant that is situated on the Southeast corner of West 95th Street and Broadway serves traditional Hispanic dishes of Caribbean Spanish speaking countries and also serves traditional Cantonese Style dishes.