Why go: Its name notwithstanding, this storefront offers fiery Szechuan cooking, and the food’s mouth-numbing afterburn—a sign of the famed ma la peppercorn—is a mark of authenticity.
What to get: House-made dan dan noodles topped with ground pork and crispy scallions and set on fire with chili oil; fish-and-pickled-vegetable soup with cellophane noodles; home-style bacon, an occasional special with thick slabs of pork, salty black beans, and red peppers; Kung Pao chicken, dice-size cubes of meat tossed with Szechuan peppers and peanuts; for dessert, deliciously sweet sesame balls filled with bean paste.
Best for: Diners who are happy when spoons and chopsticks are the only utensils on the table.
Insider tip: On Friday and Saturday nights, large Chinese families flock to the 12 tables, so waits can exceed an hour.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.