WHY Our vote for the best Hunanese cooking in Southern California.
WHAT A chile-emphatic menu offers carefully cooked Hunan dishes without the usual vats of oil. The toss-fried lamb, glowing like an electric-powered Christmas tree, is a powder keg of a dish lit up with a quartet of chile styles: fresh diced, dried whole, flaked in oil and pickled. Similarly spiced are frog’s legs, pork belly and cuttlefish with pig stomach—this place doesn’t hold back. Spice-loving vegetarians have a whole page of peppery delights to choose from. Don’t let the cryptic menu descriptions deter you—the manager-owner is fluent in English, but you may have to convince him you can take the heat.
WHO Mostly Asian chileheads.