Szechuan restaurants have dominated the scene lately—so what keeps us coming back to chef Liu Chaosheng’s tiny, bare-bones place, in business more than a decade? Attentive service and home-style cooking that’s fresh and bountiful (each plate easily feeds three to four). The lengthy menu—plus specials written in Mandarin on the wall—holds too many treasures to indulge in at once, though we rarely skip Chengdu dumplings and cold noodles swimming in chili oil; fried chicken with fiery peppers; and tea-smoked duck. Despite the place’s cozy size, three banquet-style tables can fit eight—so we always bring as many hungry friends. Also good: Garlicky cold cucumbers; flounder hot pot.