There are two Szechuan Chinese restaurants on 39th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. In many cities smaller than New York, that would be nearly enough to call it a Chinatown. In New York, there's nothing like a little competition or rivalry to keep restaurants on their toes. I've been to Szechuan Gourmet, which has gotten much attention and acclaim. But I had read on the blogs about Lan Sheng and a recent lunch there gave me the basis to compare it to Szechuan Gourmet.
When we sat down, I was disappointed to find there was no lunch specials section on the menu. Maybe we had to ask for it or maybe they've stopped having specials.
Lan Sheng offered me the opportunity to try some new things, but if these are representative of their food overall, they lack complexity in the seasonings. The lunchtime crowd wasn't as deep as Szechuan Gourmet, so it might make a good alternative for the time-crunched, but barring that, it wouldn't be my first choice.