Having had several pleasant experiences at NCQ in the past, I stopped by again while I was in the area yesterday. I'm used to getting whited (and I employed all the standard anti-whiting measures which have worked in the past here: "spicy", "Szechuan-style", "Please make it like you would make it for a Chinese customer"), but what I received was exceptionally disappointing.
The dan dan mein had no pork (!), and no detectable presence of szechuan peppercorns. Apparently the price of chili oil has gone up, because there wasn't much of that either.
The mapo tofu at least had a little pork, but the szechuan peppercorns were barely detectable. The dish was brown, not red. It had a mild chili flavor, but was overall a bland dish. It reminded me of the mapo tofu I've had at Cantonese places (when somebody else was ordering).
The pork with rice power was, as usual, unavailable.
Has NCQ completely lost it? Or did I just visit on a particularly inauspicious day? Can anybody recommend a replacement, preferably as far west as possible?
New Chong Qing
120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775