Sichuan Jin River (Formerly Sichuan Pavilion)
410 Hungerford Dr.
Rockville, MD 20850
Cuisines: Szechuan, Chinese
Price Range: Inexpensive
Reservations: Not Needed
Any number of restaurants offer Kung Pao chicken and beef with broccoli, but to be reminded of the depth and variety that even a single subset of Chinese cooking contains, this is the place we turn. You could pop in every week for a year and not exhaust the menu--a bound book with five times the number of dishes offered by most restaurants on our list. Equally staggering is the range of flavors, textures, and effects beyond the familiar hot and spicy--cool and spicy, crunchy and tangy, slippery and aromatic, delicately mild, intensely pungent.
What to get: Flounder with pickled cabbage; pickled cucumbers; General Guan's chicken; seaweed noodles with sesame oil and garlic; lotus-root salad; mapo tofu.