Regarding Palo Alto Sichuan, it seems that Mandarin Gourmet now has a page full of sichuan specialties. I've always like the place, but was bored by the Chinese-American-"mandarin" slant. There were a few good non-standard items on the menu, but now they've upped to a whole section.
This might be the good chinese eats in Palo Alto... I look forward to a report.
420 Ramona St
Palo Alto, CA 94301