Walking into Z&Y to pick up lunch yesterday, I noticed fresh white walls and an unfamiliar calmness and sterility to the place. The new host at the front said that a former chef at the local Chinese consulate bought Z&Y and is now working with the previous Z&Y chef in the kitchen. Sadly, the very kind older waiter is no longer there, but the new crew seemed pleasant.
The menu is much shorter and still focuses on Sichuanese specialties, with a Yunnan dish or two and a slew of Americanized Chinese standards. I was relieved to see my regular dishes -- cumin beef, chicken with explosive chili pepper, and dan dan mien -- still on the menu. The host said that the new chef plans to kick up the spice level considerably.
I took dan dan mien back to my office. It was good, though I slightly prefer the previous version. The sauce is now thinner, less oily, and omits sesame paste. The Sichuan pepper is more pronounced. They still use the thick noodles I like, which are not overcooked. I'm eager to see what other dishes are like now.
Z & Y
655 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133