Oct 24, 2010

A Chinese-Latino Fusion in the Upper West Side


My Hotel Life is delighted to feature a foodie blog post from Vigie Bucu of Manhattan. Vigie is a childhood classmate of mine from the Philippines. On a recent reunion in New York, I discovered that my friend is a walking encyclopedia of New York City. No wonder that his choice of restaurant is a hole-in-the-wall fusion of Chinese and Latino. Here's Vigie's insider recommendation:

My entry is one of my fave comfort food places in Manhattan, an ethnic comida latina Y china resto: La Dinastia! Right in the middle of the upper west side nabe, just blcoks from Lincoln center and CPW. Also nearby is the ABC studios for Good Morning America and Regis and Kelly. It has hosted and seen its compliment of local ABC News
7 celebs as well as from the soap tv series. Like any restaurant, especially with ethnic specialties, you really need to know what to order in order to have a hit vs. a dissappointing miss. This place is low key, vinyl counter top, linoleum floors and just a big enough space, though they have these booth like seats and tables on one side good enough to seat 4 people, 2 if your big! Your not here for ambiance but to satisfy those comfort cravings, be wholly filled and be more than satisfied - such gusto!


I have four specific dinner entree's that I always debate internally everytime I go to Dinastia; its easier when you're craving something specific but all of these are well worth it Shrimp and Brocoli in Black Bean Sauce - I can even cook this BUT there's a few spices that I'm having a hard time identifying flavoring this shrimp-food senses. Also, they use those large shrimps bigger than a Susan B. Anthony dollar - not the 25 cents size! Fish Fillet Platter - served w/ butter sauce and good enough for two! Just a simple fish dish, sprinkle olive oil and squeeze fresh lemon! Bistec Palomilla /Grilled Tenderloin Steak - grilled on its own iron platter served sizzling hot! I often wish my steaks were as good as this when eating at some of NYC's rated and storied steakhouses in one of those IT luncheons!!! My beef craving at its max, comes with the onions glazed alongside! I sometimes ask them to place fresh garlic on top before it is served at the last minute. 

Chicharon De Pollo/Boneless Fried Chicken - an absolute fave and mystifying delight all at the same time! WHY?!?!? Never have I deconstructed ONE particular food in all my life, being a cook and growing up with my family's very succesfull restaurant business back in Manila and being taught by mom on even the most difficult Filipino heart-attack specialties - THIS really gets me! Being fried and used to grease, you will be a bit puzzled once this dish is served crunchy and cracklin, not even a thick coating, then you realized IT'S NOT GREASY! Almost dry outside, but still juicy and tender inside with combination of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and those spices am having hard to identify. I've been to all sorts of fried food, there's always a hint of grease, but not this dish!

I often take food to go and riding the subway you will defintely get heads turned your way, if not their attention as those spices starts wafting through, people will sniff and often asked: Whar is that great smelling food? Where did you get it? Dinastia, and those in the know just nod their heads and smile.

La Dinastia
145 W. 72nd
New York, NY 10023
212.362.3801
Subway: 72nd/Broadway

1 comment:

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