Szechwan Era doesn’t make many concessions to Americanization, except for its weekday lunch specials. The full menu is replete with Szechuan specialties—many of them quite delicious.

“Husband and wife lung slices” (beef and tendon cold appetizer) does the sour and tingly, ma-la flavor to the hilt, says Melanie Wong. Duskily spiced, it’s a winner. The honeycomb tripe that’s mixed in with the beef and tendon has great texture; it’s cut at the proper angle for a combined tenderness and slight chewiness.

Potato with hot green pepper is a simple dish that requires perfect execution. And it’s done perfectly here, with expert knife work, cooking, and just enough hot pepper to breathe some warmth into the dish, says Melanie. Hot pot with fresh pickle, fish, and lamb is fantastic. Green bean noodle with hot pepper has an acidic bite and refreshing taste—great on a warm day.

There are some problems, too. Water-boiled beef is a big disappointment—tough, monotonously spiced, and lacking ma-la flavors. And pork chitlins are awful—improperly cleaned, and foul tasting.

Szechwan Era [South Bay]
10971 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino

Board Link: Szechuan Era, Cupertino

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