Friday, February 18, 2011

La Nueva Rampa

Chelsea resident Stacy Torres brings us the sad news that 14th Street restaurant La Nueva Rampa has been shuttered for weeks now and is most likely closed.


Litherland's flickr

It was one of the last (maybe the last?) of Chelsea's once abundant Cuban-Chinese restaurants. These establishments began opening in the 1960s, when many of Cuba's Chinese population fled from Castro. Diners' favorites included La Chinita Linda and Sam's Chinita (replaced by Niso's). Both are gone.

At La Nueva Rampa, the decor was simple and blunt. Chinese and Spanish foods were served and both languages were spoken. The food was plentiful, messy, and tasty. It was also very cheap. So we've lost another affordable Chelsea eatery.

What in the city is left of the Chino-Latino?


eating in translation's flickr

Post Script: The neighboring Memory Keeper 1-hour photo lab is still there, but that name, that service...how long can it possibly last? In the front window a Russian man will fix your watch, change its battery and band. He's a careful and consummate professional. Go to him--just watching how he works with his tiny tools is worth it.

14 comments:

JaWz said...

This is very sad news. Nueva Rampa was one of the last vestiges of old 14th St, let alone old melting-pot Chelsea. Personally though, I always preferred the food from, and never got over the loss of, Chinita Linda.

As for your question "what's left..." I highly recommend La Caridad on 78th & Bway. It's a hike, but has yummy food, good prices and the same downscale vibe as the Chelsea joints of yore. The Chinese manager at the counter shouts orders at the kitchen in flawless Spanish, and the joint's always jumping with devotees, mostly blue-collar types. Seriously worth the trip.

Allan said...

Sad. I used to eat there and at Chinata Linda when I lived on 14th Street. I'm now WAY uptown in Washington Heights wehre there is still plenty of good, cheap eats. Jimmy Oro is Chinese-Dominican that is kinda sorta like the Cuban Chinese joints.

tacony palmyra said...

I can also vouch for the place on 78th. Excellent and pretty affordable.

bitg said...

We actually never got the chance to eat @ that one. I remember tons of Cuban Chinese everywhere in the Bronx growing up, then one day sorta overnightish.

They disappeared leaving what we have left today. La Caridad on 78th & Bway which is pretty good & somewhat consistent and the one on 94th st & B.way.

What will New York City be known for soon? (Corporate America) Sad.

Anonymous said...

Had many meals at La Chinita Linda. When did it close? What's there now? Makes me sad. Am glad I'm far away.

Marty Wombacher said...

That was a good place, I had no idea it closed, I hadn't been there for a couple months, now thinking I should've gone more often. That's always the case when a place like this closes, a reminder to support local places while they're still in existence.

@JaWz: Thanks for the La Caridad tip, I've been meaning to get to the Upper West Side and that's as good excuse as any to make the trip.

Anonymous said...

Damn, its gone. I hated when the incandescent bulbs were all replaced with compact flourescents a few years ago. I knew they were wasting their money since the place was doomed. The staff, the furniture, the menu, all cash policy, and the client base seemed to never change in the 12 years I went there. There was a big silver microphone that the cashier shouted orders into. The name was ironic since the place seemed to be named for the parking ramp situated next to the restaurant.

Andre said...

Sad about Nueva Rampa - Tasty, filling and affordable unlike most city restaurants these days. I haven't been downtown around there much lately so I had no idea it closed.

I'm uptown near Jimmy Oro as well. Great food. Caridad on 78th does it right as well.

Anonymous said...

I was always pleased that La Nueva Rampa was there, but it was probably the dumpiest of a dumpy genre. No one, it appears, has mentioned the best of them, La Dinastia on 72nd between Amsterdam and Columbus. The food there is a cut above that at La Caridad (two cuts above La Nueva Rampa's), and the waiters are filled with personality, especially two of them. One I call "the hipster," a handsome guy who's been there for at least the last 20 years but still seems young and always wears dark glasses. The other is an older guy, with a patrician air, who always takes one's order with what seems to be real interest and grace.

James Taylor said...

I wonder if this is the Chinese-Cuban restaurant on 14th that Tom Waits is referring to here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/06/magazine/wtwt-tom-waits-and-robert-frank.html?scp=1&sq=Ted%20Barron&st=cse

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog entry. I had not been to La Nueva Rampa Rest. for several months (since last year) until this past March and found them unexpectedly closed early in the day. I have since passed by a couple of more times to see them still closed. I was really, really hoping against hope they were still around. I went there as much for the staff as well as the cheap and generous grub. Though I didn't go constantly over the years (mostly in spurts on and off), the staff there always remembered me and treated me very well as an "old" regular. Separately, I remember years ago going to La Chinita Linda; I haven't been able to find them for a few years and I figured they had closed (but honestly La Nueva Rampa was always my favorite regardless).

Anonymous said...

'Walked by this location on February 2, 2012.Another restaurant seems to be opening there, serving 'Chinese-Spanish' cuisine.

Anonymous said...

FYI: La Nueva Rampa is now El Paraiso. The inside was spruced up a bit, and one of the old-timers was waiting tables. The menu seems pretty much the same. I'll be heading back for ropa vieja soon.

Anonymous said...

Hope it wasn't shut down by the health department and now reopening under a new name to avoid penalties etc. About to try el paraiso, will let you know...