You read it here first: the Upper West Side is becoming a hotspot for good Chinese food again. Today, a restaurant called Legend opened on 109th near Broadway, in the former home of Rack & Soul. That, and the upcoming opening of Red Farm on 77th, is making mouths water in anticipation again.

Legend, which has a restaurant in Chelsea (15th Street), is well-known for its Sichuan Cuisine, and particularly for the mouth-watering spicy stuff. The restaurant has gotten strong reviews from people worth listening to, like Upper West Sider Gael Greene: “From the first bite of giant prawn, chewing the shell, I get a rush of sweet shrimp and chili heat. I’ve never tasted anything like the sauceless sauté of these juicy critters, tossed with crisps of dried bell peppers, peanuts and celery. Nothing in the Szechuan wave of the late ‘70s was anything like it. Nothing I’ve tasted in the new millennium has hinted at it.”

Legend also serves Vietnamese food.

See the insanely long Chelsea menu here (we’ve posted the traditional sichuan menu below).

The website Eater, which broke the story about Legend opening, put the restaurant on its list of “38 essential New York restaurants” last month.

“Legend is a favorite hangout of chefs and restaurateurs, and the dining room is always stuffed to the gills. This is most definitely a huge win for the Upper West Side,” writes Eater editor Greg Morabito.

The neighborhood was known for its above-average Chinese food for decades, but in recent years, the Upper West Side’s Asian fare has declined. With the opening of Legend, and the upcoming opening of Red Farm, we have turned a corner. A very tasty corner.

Photo courtesy of Eater.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 4 comments | permalink
    1. Anthony Bellov says:

      Meanwhile – – – WHAT HAPPENED TO RACK AND SOUL and why wasn’t its closing reported?
      This is heartbreaking. R & S was some of the most authentic BBQ available in NYC and a point of pride for us when we took friends and out-of-town guests there.
      While we delight in the signs of recovery for our long-lamented “Chinatown West” atmosphere of yore, we MOURN the passing of Rack and Soul.
      Oh well – – sic transit gloria mundi.

    2. Kate says:

      If you’re saddened by the closing of Rack & Soul, try Spoonbread on 110th. In my opinion, Spoonbread is better.

    3. Ryan says:

      Anyone know the delivery zone? This place is the real deal for Sichuan food!

    4. Marlowe says:

      meh, was really not so good when we tried it.