The kitchen at the recently opened Crouching Tiger, a Szechuanese and Hunanese restaurant, is helmed by the former chef of Little Sichuan in San Mateo and Newark, Deeg67 says. Melanie Wong visited and found that the best at the new place were also faves from the old.

A good starter is the spicy beef combo (fu qi fei pin), which is well-spiced (that is, burningly hot) and complex. There’s tripe as well as beef shank, although the shank pieces aren’t juicy enough.

Xinjiang lamb is more refined and less gamey than at Little Sichuan, Melanie says, with juicier meat, well-roasted chiles, and fresh jalapeño slices. Unlike many versions, it’s not gritty with coarsely ground cumin. It’s a pretty spicy hot, adds Deeg67, but the flavors are well balanced. Deeg67 also recommends the twice-cooked pork—go for the fatty version, of course.

House special Szechuan cold noodles have a bit of tartness in the finish that gives them a refreshing lift, Melanie says. House special stir-fried shredded potatoes without chiles show off excellent knife work, but Melanie found that this, like many of the dishes, suffers from a lack of good wok sear—possibly because the woks aren’t seasoned enough, or because the flame isn’t hot enough.

Crouching Tiger [Peninsula]
2644 Broadway Street, Redwood City

Little Sichuan [Peninsula]
168 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo

Little Sichuan [East Bay]
35233 Newark Boulevard Suite F, Newark

Board Link: Sichuan Specialties at Crouching Tiger Restaurant in Redwood City

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