New York’s Fake Chinese Restaurants Need More Variety on the Menu

Moo moo gai pan? Aw Hell No!
Moo moo gai pan? Aw Hell No! Photo: WILSON WEBB/Columbia Pictures

You might have seen Wu’s Diamond Garden Seafood Restaurant in Men in Black III. The Cantonese joint may have a great website and a big menu of house specialties like “Chinese Boyfriend Steak Rodent from the exotic streets of Staten,” but there aren’t any reviews for Wu’s on Yelp, it turns out, because it doesn’t exist in real life. Lacquered woodwork, red wallpaper, 3-D plaster dragons, paper lanterns, and rows of crispy Peking duck hanging by their necks in the front window have become the common visual cues used to signify the Old-School New York Chinese Restaurant, notes Scouting NY, as seen in everything from Seinfeld to The Fisher King to Glengarry Glen Ross. It’s a real headache to location scouts, because real Chinese restaurants in Manhattan look nothing like they do in the movies. [ScoutingNY]