Cheap Eats 2015: Hunan Taste

Where we go for our favorite fish in bean-curd sauce.
Photograph by Scott Suchman.

The menu at this elegant vision in red sprawls over eight pages, so permit us to supply a cheat sheet for your maiden visit. Item one: the fish in bean-curd sauce. Not enticed? Ignore the name. What hits the table is thrilling in its tight harmony of heat, crunch, and tang. Divine Incense Mint Pork, on the other hand—item two—does sound enticing, and the actual dish is amply rewarding. Note the subtle interplay of opposites—the way the rich, rendered pork belly is improved by leaves of vegetally bitter fried mint. Not everything sings; resist, especially, the Americanized dishes, and be wary of big-ticket items with steep prices. You can eat wonderfully without running up a big tab.

Cuisine: Chinese

Where you can get it: 10160 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax; 703-877-0988

Also good: Casserole with tea-tree mushrooms and pork; diced chicken with chilies; mountain mushrooms with barbecue pork.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.