As I foretold to the crowd at LyLy/Mai at lunch yesterday, I went to Sichuan Village with some non-Chowhound friends tonight, and as promised, here is my review:
When you arrive at the restaurant, which is quite a bit larger than China Star, the greeter asks if you are there for the buffet or the "menu". By all means, do NOT go for the buffet! It looked singularly awful, though it was also the option chosen by most of the other diners there. When the greeter noted my ability to speak Chinese, she made a point to have our server bring us a Chinese menu, containing no English at all, but when my (pathetic, non-Chinese speaking) friends joined us, she brought us an English menu that appears to be pretty much the same as the Chinese, though with the addition of a "Chinese-American" section at the back.
Anyway, I ordered Zhong-Style Dumplings, Spicy Wontons, Stir-Fried Long Hot Pepper, Gong Bao Tofu (for my vegetarian friend) and Casserole of Fish and Silky Tofu. The dumplings and wontons were excellent in flavor, though a few of the dumplings had been left out of the water/sauce a bit long and had gone a bit dry, though this was easily remedied by dunking them in the sauce again. The peppers were also great, with the added treat that you could never tell whether the pepper you were about to eat would be spicy or mild. The Casserole dish (shui zhu dou hua yu pian) was the best of the lot, with big filets of fish and very silky tofu in a lusciously spicy and nuanced sauce.
None of these dishes is for the light of heart or tender of palate! They were all quite spicy, but not oppressively so. The service is very friendly and attentive, and the prices are very reasonable. Go!
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