Mon-Sat, 11:30am-11:30pm; Sun, 11:30am-10:30pm
1 at 79th St.
60th St. to 100th St., Central Park West to Riverside Dr.
In a city where restaurants can be a flash in the pan, La Caridad 78 Restaurant is an elder statesman, having faithfully served Upper West Siders since the sixties. Founded by Chinese entrepreneurs who emigrated to Cuba and fled Castro’s revolution a generation later, the restaurant presents working people’s Cuban and Cantonese fare to its loyal patrons, who include taxi drivers, artists, cops, writers, and boisterous Hispanic families. There’s no fusion here; each cuisine is presently discretely. The Latin dishes, consisting of numerous stews and grilled dishes, are the most compelling. Arroz con mariscos is a mound of bright orange rice imbued with saffron and paprika and bejeweled with scallops, shrimp, and squid. Red pepper strips and green peas add color and crunch. The bistec en salsa de tomate is a thin but charred top sirloin steak in a sprightly tomato sauce spiked with garlic and onion slivers. The Chinese specialties tend toward stir-fried dishes with simple white sauces and nostalgic (and bland) curiosities like egg foo young and chop suey, harking back to the days before spicy regional cuisines like Szechuan and Hunan captured New Yorkers’ palates. Though renovated several times over the years, the utilitarian décor, the menu, and the ample portions remain unchanged.Recommended Dishes
Bistec en salsa de tomate, $10.85; arroz con mariscos, $13.85