People: RB, CK and myself
Feelings: Across from Loehmann's and lavish furniture showroom in Chelsea, you find an authentic and one of the best Sichuan restaurants in Manhattan. Legend Bar and Restaurant is like myself in college in Florida. A fashion, film and food obsessed five inch heel wearing gal somehow miserably placed in a sea of blonde, flip flop, baseball hat and GAP wearing blandness that screams Go Gators every five seconds. A place like Legend can be widely found in Queens, but it is definitely a bit out of place in Chelsea. But they manage to keep their authentic style.
With a karaoke bar downstairs, the spacious dining area is ideal for big groups, including those with young ones. It's clean, and the service is also quite friendly. I kept hearing a knowledgeable server tell the table next to us, "These are all very, very spicy. Are you sure?" and tried to help them order more spice-balanced meal.
Many Sichuan spots I have tried in Queens are fantastic, but one problem I always have is that every dish starts to taste somewhat similar. Tongue numbing sichuan pepper and chilis could be found in almost every dish, and the overall experience starts to get a bit dull. But here at Legend, there are many different dishes, from lightly flavored dishes, Vietnamese entrees, braised frogs to fiery Sichuan standards.
Each dish is enormous and could easily serve up to two people. Dining in a group would be the key for more successful dining experience. The Dan Dan noodle Chen-Du style ($5.50) was slightly overcooked, but the subtle flavor was present without much use of chili oil. Sichuan Ma Po Tofu ($10.95) was very, very hot with tongue numbing, brain numbing heat, but I could still taste the savory thick sauce that swirled around the silken tofu.
RB's sliced pork sauteed with garlic stems was very tasty. The pork was a bit on the dry side, but the slight heat mixed with the garlic-y greens blended very well.
As soon as the staff noticed that we were not ordering any vegetables, she suggested sauteed pea shoots,which was not on the menu. This dish was so simple yet surprisingly the most flavorful winning dish of the night. I am always happy when someone tells me to eat more veggies. These insightful ladies at Legend are really looking after for you.
We enjoyed our well-balanced, well flavored meal. Conveniently located by the train stations and all the hot spots in Chelsea, Legend is perhaps the most reliable Sichuan eatery in Manhattan.