Monday, November 14, 2016

El Paraiso


The last Chino-Latino restaurant in Chelsea has been seized and shuttered.

El Paraiso opened on West 14th Street in 2012, replacing El Nueva Rampa, which closed in 2011.

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. Both are gone. And then there was La Taza de Oro, which closed in 2015 after 68 years in business.

In the window of El Paraiso is a "Marshal's Legal Possession" notice dated from September. So I guess it's been empty since then. Unless someone does with El Paraiso what it did with El Nueva Rampa, that--I'm pretty sure--is the end of the Chino-Latino tradition in Chelsea.


alberchico said...

As someone who has eaten at both restaurants I think I can comment on this. La Nueva Rampa in its heyday was a legendary restaurant,if you stopped by at lunchtime you had to wait for a seat to open up. The food was delicious, plentiful and cheap. The restaurant that followed in its wake was nothing but a shoddy imitation offering up lousy food at higher prices that drove patrons away. Every time I ate at El Paraiso it was always empty. Even when La Taza De Oro closed and there was a huge demand for latin food the place was stil empty. Not to mention that the people who ran the new restaurant were not actually Cuban- Chinese.

This is one establishment that people should not mourn, but be astonished that it lasted as long as it did.

Mitch said...

I guess it was inevitable that this sort of establishment would fade away as the Chinese-Cuban refugees aged. Though I have always liked them (I go occasionally to Dinastia on W72nd) it's not as though they are generally great cooking on either the Chinese or Latin side of the menu.

Of course, the transformation of 14th St isn't helping any.

duke said...

I wouldn't really classify Taza d'Oro as Chino/Latino. It was a Latino diner. I don't remember any Chinese options on its menu. Are any of these places still around on the Upper West Side? There used to be a bunch of them.

Steve Bookman said...

Ownership of El Paraiso was in fact Venezualan-Chinese.