You don't have to read between the lines very carefully to see who the problem is among the residents -- it's primarily the Jewish palate that the Italian-American critic is blasting.
Savvy readers may have suspected this already, given that about 1/3 of the neighborhood's residents are Jewish. But the critic can't come right out and say that in the mainstream media (for similar reasons that he would not be able to discuss openly). He did manage to drop a rather big hint toward the end, though, while quoting some other source (my emphasis):
And a new place that sticks to its guns must put up with what [Jewish restaurant manager Ed] Schoenfeld calls the “kvetch factor.”
On Christmas at RedFarm [Chinese food on Christmas], “A lady at the bar was counting people and seats to see who should get a table next.” She made a loud stink and “made my manager cry,” Schoenfeld recalls ruefully.
He asked her to leave — “I basically fired my customer,” he laughs. “You’d never see that downtown.”
Perhaps locals share lingering nostalgia for the days of Mexican beaneries and dairy cafeterias. Call it Karl Marx’s revenge on a neighborhood that prefers Gray’s Papaya to the eats that make this city the most famous dining destination in the world.
And this related hint:
Restaurants that bravely open with creative menus quickly dumb them down for proletarian tastes left over from the age when bearded “intellectuals” debated Sino-Soviet relations over refried beans, and “fine dining” struck West End Avenue sages as capitalist decadence.
Propagating and magnifying capitalist decadence is a Jewish specialty. Hence their sneering at "fine dining" is a sour-grapes defense mechanism to keep the world from noticing how sub-functional the taste centers in their brains are.
You saw something similar in their sneering at representational art, which had to be dumbed down into color field painting and the like. Or decorative motifs in buildings, which must be eliminated and exploded in the deconstructionist approach to, or rather retreat from architecture.
This suggests that the lack of Jewish accomplishment in a domain of taste stems from a more fundamental weakness in basic perception, akin to a blind man who cannot paint. (Their low scores on tests of visual-spatial cognition have been documented and accepted for awhile now.)
Why, though, do they insist on ugly art, brain-hurting buildings, and food meant for the barfbag (Mexican)? Why not just go with the flow and not make a big display out of your rejection of fine taste? It all traces back to their characteristically antagonistic stance in interpersonal relations, reflecting their genetic and cultural adaptation over the centuries to an economic niche as tax farmers, financiers, and other middleman roles.
Being upstaged by a bunch of dumb goyim is too threatening to the Jewish ego, so they turn it around and call it an abomination what is delightful, and seek delight in what is abominable.