I just spent a week and a half on jury duty, so of course I was excited to have access to Chinatown for lunch. I had a couple good Vietnamese meals at Nha Trang and Viet Huong, but nothing to write home about; I also had one very disappointing meal at New Green Bo, the Shanghai restaurant that used to get good reviews. New Green Bo was at best adequate - nothing compared to uptown's Shanghai Pavilion. The soup dumplings were good enough, and so was the Pork with Pickled Cabbage, but I ended up having a massive MSG reaction after lunch, which rather spoiled the meal. Given the raves I've read, I was disappointed.
Viet Huong is good for simple Vietnamese stuff, but the beef wrapped in grape leaves I had one day were literally burned. The Chicken Salad was fine, as was the Squid with Chili Peppers and Lemongrass.
I liked Nha Trang the best - good Hot and Sour Fish Soup, great beef roll appetizers.
But my question is, why doesn't New York's Chinatown have really great restaurants? Or did I just go to the wrong places?