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scooter | Nov 18, 200704:43 PM     164

The old OTB on 5th Ave between 86th and 87th has become a Sichuan restaurant. I saw it going in and was, of course, skeptical but hopeful. My wife and I are big Sichuan fans - we love Grand Sichuan on 24th St., Szechuan Gourmet, and Wu-Liang Ye.

Well, it's for real. We just visited and had dan dan noodles, soup dumplings, pea shoots and double-sauteed pork. The hostess told us the place is owned by the same person as Grand Sichuan on 56th and 2nd in Manhattan. (Which is not, apparently, the owner of 24th St. or St. Marks Place.)

So, I'd be lying if I said it was *exactly* the same - Dan Dan noodles weren't really that firey and the soup dumplings were a little gummy. BUT, the rest was dead on. I couldn't believe I was eating double sauteed just blocks away from 86 Noodles, where I had the worst imitation of the dish EVER.

The menu is the same multi-page affair we've seen at the other places, (though there is no "fresh killed" chicken page.)

Can't remember the exact name of the place! (It's not Grand Sichuan.) A yellow awning just below 86th, on 5th. East side of the street. Number on the (nameless) takeout menu is 718-680-8887.

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