After a few false starts we finally managed to eat at Chinese Mirch (120 Lexington at 28th). On our first try we didnt have time to wait, social circumstances pressed, and on our second (late afternoon) it seemed they were closed to feed the staff. While our third try began to assume the proportions of a quest, I am glad that we persevered.
We shared an order of the chicken lollipops to start and enjoyed them thoroughly, plenty of assertive heat. Just crunched those things down. The combination of fried chicken and chili is a double treat. We also shared chili garlic noodles that had lots of big chili and garlic flavor, but also a pleasant surround of turmeric.
One choice was the crispy sichuan lamb and I do believe that other was the chili chicken. It was rather a toss-up as to which dish was the better, although the lamb may have had a slight edge. There were lots of bright flavors in both dishes, bold strokes of ginger, garlic and scallions with the wonderful and welcome chilies.
I was shaking my head over the chicken lollipops, glad and almost disbelieving that they were so spicy, and one of the servers hurried over to worry that they may have been too hot for me. I reassured him that they were perfect. Later we paused over our entrees and another server asked a similar question, so we suspect that the kitchen is feeling its way with the heat. We did our level best to encourage them to keep up the good work.
The dining areas are small and we were forced to play peek-a-boo at point blank range with a couple of babies, but the food helped to keep us distracted.
As an aside, we ate at Kalustyans after the first misadventure and liked it quite well. We ate at Blue Smoke after the second and were severely split in our reaction to the food. Severely and utterly.