Why go: The hundreds of choices at this brightly decorated dining room practically dare diners to try something new. The dishes are largely Szechuan, but the menu samples many cuisines, including Korean, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Hunan.
What to get: Shrimp, scallops, and calamari in spicy-sweet pickled-pepper sauce; succulent bamboo salad; pork with pressed tofu and leeks (sometimes swapped out for garlic scapes in summer); crispy scallion pancakes; steamed pork-filled dumplings; shrimp with scrambled eggs; hot-and-sour whole steamed fish with pickled cabbage.
Best for: Adventurous eaters who don’t shy away from dishes designated as “numbing” or made with ingredients such as duck tongue.
Insider tip: The name is a leftover from a previous owner—there’s no Joe, and the noodles are a weak spot. Ask owner Audrey Jan about the seasonally inspired specials posted behind the counter, where she takes orders.
>> See all 2010 Cheap Eats restaurants here.