So what used to be a fusion Vietnamese restaurant, Safran, and seems also to have gone by the name of Jasmine (still the name on the awning), is now an astonishingly good SIchuan restaurant apparently called Legend (the name on the menu), which still serves a full Vietnamese menu and also has a full bar with a bigtime happy hour scene going...so you can get an inexpensive mojito with your dinner, if you like...
I'm a huge fan of Grand Sichuan International on lower 7th, also of Lan Sheng and Szechuan Gourmet, but I have to say there are some dishes at Legend that I have never tried before, and the kitchen in general seems very very promising. If you go, you might want to try dishes from the "New Style Sichuan Food" section of the enormous menu (there is also a "Traditional Sichuan Food" section, a "Pickled Peppers" section, a "Griddled" section, a "Cool Pot" section...I'm serious, this is a large and very intriguing menu, worthy of devoted study!)
So far, for appetizers, I have liked the Shrimp Wonton in Red Sesame Oil, a dumpling treatment I had never had before, the cold dish of Bean Curd Mixed w/ Chopped Green Onion, and I am looking forward to trying the Tears in Eyes (Very Spicy Mung Bean Noodle). Also fascinating were the Sour and Hot Sweet Potato Noodles (made of sweet potato starch perhaps?)
For main courses, I am looking for help and guidance in exploring this menu, but I would strongly recommend the Dry Spicy Diced Chicken w/Ginger and Peanut; this is an enormous plate of what may be one of the absolute BEST fried chicken dishes in the city of New York, and, from the "Casseroles" section of the menu, the Braised Eggplant and Diced Fish w/Black Bean Sauce, a dish I have never had elsewhere, spicy and fascinating, and, from "Traditional Sichuan Food," the Double Cooked Fresh Bacon w/Spicy Bean Sauce, and the Sichuan Spicy Noodle w/Minced Pork, both state of the art renditions. Also Sliced Pork with Garlic Stems: one member of our party declares this one to be his favorite. . .
21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018
88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011
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