Restaurants & Bars 14

Lao Sze Chuan

Kasia | Nov 3, 2003 10:33 AM

Thank you thank you Chowhounds, for steering me to this terrific restaurant. The husband and I ate there last night, and walked away mightily impressed. We started with the cold five spice powder rabbit appetizer, which comes with a side of spicy shredded cabbage. The rabbit came in small chunks, clinging lightly to small, flat bones. The meat was perfectly done, bathed in a fragrant, oily sauce. Mixed with the cabbage, it was absolutely delicious. We also ordered the "house dry ribs" -- small breaded, fried pork ribs tossed with a bits of green and red pepper, and, the best part, fried ginger slivers. The pork seemed to be encrusted in a cumin spice rub (is cumin an element of 5-spice powder?). Much as I love the spicy salt fried "pork chop" at Triple Crown, this was a much more complex taste experience. This place is no slouch aesthetically, either -- the grass carp (half a steamed fish in black bean sauce) was topped with julienned scallions and cilantro. It was a beautiful preparation, the fish actually seemed to be swimming through grass on the plate. Last but not least, spinach in garlic sauce, fresh, plump spinach, not a bad leaf on the plate. We actually ordered chili spinach, but the waitress' English was about as good as my Chinese.

Another thing we liked -- Chinese restaurant decor seems to run toward stark white walls and giant goldfish paintings. Lao Sze is painted a warm orange, as if reflecting the heat of the Sichuan cuisine. Perfect for a rainy, yucky night. All in all, a most encouraging first outing to this place.

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