This evening four of us, including Pappy, had dinner at Joe's Noodle House in Rockville, MD. This was only my second time dining here, having only once before made the trek Across the Big Water for a lunch of diced Sichuan rabbit (dish A47) and wonton with hot sauce (dish W01), both of which I thought were "worth a trek" in Michelin's terminology.
For dinner tonight we ordered those same dishes, as well as the following:
A01: Shredded Radish with Hot Sauce
A11: Pressed Bean Curd with Hot Sauce
H20: Fish Filet over Veg, Sichuan Style
T20: Triple Pepper Chicken Dry Saute
F19: Bean Curd Sichuan Style
Special: Stir Fried Pea Shoots
While each of the dishes was very good, and well prepared, and served lickety-split, too (and we also waited no more than 4 minutes for a table, at 7:45pm on a Friday), I felt that China Star, even with its glacial service and lengthy table wait, was superior. Only the two dishes from my first visit (the dumplings and the rabbit) are better at Joe's than at CS, and while the menu at Joe's is lengthier, many of the items on it are very un-Chinese (such as Pad Thai) or not at all Sichuan. There are a number of dishes on the menu from Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan and other places, and while that is OK in a way, it is not what you would go to a place with a very Sichuan name for (it's called "E Mei Xiao Guan" in Chinese, after China's holy E-mei Mountain in Sichuan province).