In Chinatown, where to the uninitiated many restaurants look identical, this stalwart outshines the rest. In addition to American-Chinese generalities (such as Tso), Moon Palace features Shanghainese specialties such as the habit-forming xiao long bao (soup dumplings), pork-and-broth-filled pockets that demand a whole ritual: release steam, dress with ginger slivers and vinegar, eat. An untranslated authentic menu holds delights such as braised pork shank and shrimp scrambled eggs, so if you don’t read Chinese, ask for recommendations. Also ask if the fantastic crispy-fried whole tilapia entrée is in season. Consider yourself initiated.