A reader requested a pocket guide to eating on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Here goes, and I'm sure I missed a couple of places.
I like Celeste on 84th and Amsterdam for cheap Italian food, the bagels at Absolute Bagels (as you yourself mentioned) at 107th and Broadway, the turkey schwarma at Ali Baba on 85th and Amsterdam, the baked goods (birthday cakes, muffins, danish, assorted cakes and tarts), at Soutine, 70th and Columbus, the Grandma slices at New Pizza Town (78th and Broadway) the roast pork egg foo young (sauce on the side), the ropa vieja, and the fried pork chops at La Caridad (78th and Broadway), Thai food at Land (83rd and Amsterdam), Vietnamese at Saigon Grill (90th and Amsterdam) if you order carefully, the regular slices at T and R (80th and Amsterdam), in general the food at Nice Matin (79th and Amsterdam) at breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cream puffs, the mango ice showers and little chocolate cakes at Beard Papa (76th and Broadway), the burgers and fries at the Fairway Cafe (74th and Broadway), the hot dogs, matzo ball soup on occasion and the pastrami if it's been steaming long enough at Artie's (82nd and Broadway), the consistently delicious food at Ouest (84th and Broadway).
I agree with you wholeheartedly about Onera. It is a damned good restaurant. For Chinese food I go down to the Grand Szechuan International at 50th and Ninth. Hope this helps