Friday night Chinese food was practically a religion on the Upper West Side in the 1980’s and 90’s, but that era is mostly over. The emergence of other Asian foods, and the gradual decline of local Chinese food, has left a hole in the heart of the neighborhood.

In January, a promising dim sum place, Canteen 82 on 82nd Street and Columbus Avenue, decided to close up shop after less than a year and reopen as an Italian joint called Nucci.

Another local favorite was Silk Road Palace on 81st and Amsterdam, which served all-you-can-drink boxed Franzia wine. But it closed down last year and was replaced by an imitator named West Lake Palace. Now West Lake, which also serves boxes full of Franzia,  is “closed for renovations” until August.

We hope it has nothing to do with the 41 points that the restaurant racked up on its most recent health department inspection from June – including evidence of mice or live mice, and food items stored at the wrong temperatures. The restaurant was tagged with 41 points (over 27 means the health department starts to watch you very closely.) I called a couple of times, but no one’s answering and there’s no machine.

Come back West Lake Palace! We need our Chinese food fix!

Thanks to West Side Rag reader Gavan for the photos and the tip!

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