Super Numbing Spicy Sichuan or Other Chinese Food?

Hi everyone, so my sinuses are being rude now that summer’s officially over, and I’m now on the hunt for the hottest, spiciest, most mouth-numbing food to clear things out.

Willing to drive. Only requirements:

  • Can/will seat party of 1
  • Open past 9pm
  • Sichuan or other spicy Chinese food
  • No more than 30-minute drive from DTLA but more negotiable the later a place stays open

If you have specific dish suggestions/recommendations at a particular, I’m all ears! THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!

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chengdu taste

Hunan Mao in Rosemead. I don’t remember the name of the dish, but it’s basically a stir-fried chile salad with pieces of chicken (with bones) thrown in it.

Hot and Sour Rice Noodle Soup at Nothingness Restaurant (nee Houlala)

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…but, don’t call it Huolala (that joke is a prequel).

The Legendary Alhambra. More mouth numbing than spicy, but you can ask them to ramp the spice. Super quick exit off the 710 from the 10 reducing the number of side streets.

Chengdu Taste has been the spiciest, almost intolerably so for me, lately.

Has this place improved recently? Tried it out back in March and I found the food and overall experience to be awful, and I don’t use that word very often in LA.

Think ciaobob and I determined your poor experience was due to ordering Legendary’s mostly carby dishes and items they are not known for. I’d venture to say I’ve not ever had any of the dishes you ordered on your visit except the Wontons which I concur is a pass. It was good from the first day we went there not too long after they opened. It’s even better now.

The items below are more expensive than carb based dishes. Though we eat very reasonably there, it will be more expensive than Mian and about the same price as Chengdu Taste. The use of peppercorn is more prevalent than rattan peppers here, so the heat is more muted than other restaurants in this genre.

Our typical order list is:

  • Peppery Chicken (no bones requested)
  • Water boiled fish with peppercorns (not rattan peppers, but order that if you really like spice, this is more numbing) with fish filets - we order the small
  • Smoked lamb ribs - fatty and amazing, but we like it that way
  • Trick Eggplant with Preserved Egg - have only had this dish in Chongqing and it is mindblowing when not too salty
  • Pork with Salted Vegetable
  • Chicken Cartilage
  • Shredded potato prepared either way

Most large tables of families typically have the shrimp dish which we forget to order, but it’s on almost every large table when we go. We typically make a reservation on the weekends.

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Well I’m giving it another shot since Costco took far longer to get gas than anticipated, and Chengdu Taste closes at 10pm (I have a rule about not going to a restaurant within 45-60 min of closing). Just put in my order and will report back later. Peppery chicken and the boiled fish fillets.

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Remember, chicken with no bones (can’t have it other way now). Boiled fish with filets. Both make good leftovers.

Order was placed before I saw your note about the bones, and I agree that it would be better that way. Fish is delicious.

Way too much to eat by myself in one sitting, but the to-go containers I received were much smaller than what was left over…didn’t appreciate that–the chicken is sans chilis (I was not asked about this) and the fish seems to be packed in there lacking the chilis as well. Next time I’ll have to pack it myself if I want to take home all of my leftovers.

Other than that, service was MUCH improved from my initial visit. Food came quickly, though I still had to flag down for water refills. If they hadn’t shorted me so blatantly on my leftovers packaged to-go, I would have left more than 10%.

Are you saying they didn’t pack the leftover Peppery Chicken with the chilis?

We never do for the fish either because the next day, that shit is nuclear.

It’s still spicier the next day, but more tolerably so.

Unless I’m in a private room in a Chinese restaurants, I never get water refills. But in China not much water is consumed with meals anyways. Just tea and booze.

Okay, so I had my leftovers today. There were, in fact, a small number of chilis on the bottom, but what I received was definitely less than what was left over at the end of my meal. I mean, that’s a lost of waste, and considering that I’m paying for it anyway, let me decide how much goes to waste later.

The fish was fantastic, though I do wish a bit more of the liquid had been packed-in with it. Next time I’m just going to request I pack my own to-go packages.

Me either, but I’ll usually at least get asked occasionally if I need anything. I have no problem being assertive in restaurants, but I still shouldn’t have to flag down somebody every. single. time. for every little thing, either… including getting the check.

Still though, I go to places for the food, and on this front The Legendary was much, much better this time around; I just now know to do a few things a little differently next time.

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Someone once told me it’s considered rude by Chinese to interrupt diners, so if you need something, flag them down. They hover in the room, but won’t come over unless beckoned.

There was no hovering in the room, and even when staff was walking to/from another table I had to verbally say “excuse me” to get attention; mere eye contact or beckoning wasn’t sufficient–they had blinders on. I’m quite used to Chinese service–that’s not the issue here.

I’ve never had to flag a server down in a Chinese restaurant to refill ice water. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever had to ask a server to refill any type of no-charge beverages (like water) or one-time charge beverages, like hot tea. Even when I don’t flip the teapot lid.

Because you’re special.

Not really; that’s largely been my experience, too. I certainly wouldn’t have felt the need to note that aspect of the service were it not a bit unusual for me.

I have been thinking about this, and you may be right about the water, but the service is definitely less obtrusive than non-Chinese restaurants. Order, the food arrives, and then the servers pretty much leave you alone. Interesting. I’m going to start paying attention.

Unless I’m in a private room or a regular patron, my water glass is often full. At places like The Legendary, I always need to ask. Same for Chengdu Taste, Szechuan Taste, and more mom & pop establishments.