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Eye of Dragon Sticky Rice @ Szechuan Best

TonyC | Feb 6, 200802:12 PM

Quite a few SZ and Hunan places poppin' up all over SGV. Most are still stuck on Chung King, etc, but Szechuan Best has been our go-to place for the last 2 months.

Take home points:
BOGO Budweiser before 7:30pm.

Daily specials at $6 (Monday: ma po tofu with fish fillet, Tuesay, sizzling rice with seafood, Wednesday, our fave: ma la fried lamb chop / shrimp, etc. see pix: )

Changing Szechuan specials board reflecting the whim of kitchen and the seasons (in this case, CNY).

Prodigious use of Szechuan peppercorn in both ground and whole forms. Equally prodigious use of chili pepper flakes, oil and paste.

Thoughtful and tasty prep of Szechuan dishes, including personalized hotpots which serves 2. You’ll find something you’ve never had, I promise.

Mind boggling dishes:
Fen Zhen Pork with Taro - 5 spice seasoned, slightly ma-la “pearly powdered” steamed pork short ribs with steamed taro. I make a pretty decent version of “powdered” pork ribs but this puts my ass to shame. Every bite packs a punch both in texture and taste. You have the creamy taro, with the mushy yet particled house-made “fen”, the porkiness of the steamed short ribs and the crunchiness of the cartilage all in 1 mouthful. Taste wise, there’s a light dose of 5 spice, matched with excess of crushed SZ peppercorn and chili oil all intertwined with the distinct taro sweetness.

Crispy pungent duck – quick fried braised duck. The duck is stewed, then deep fried. Nothing from Sam Woo tastes as good as this. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a piece of duck chicharrones. With the sweet hoisin / sesame oil dip, this is the ultimate duck. Better than tea smoke, better than Peking anything.

And finally, “Eye of Dragon” sticky rice – savory stewed pork belly wrapped red bean paste, topped by maraschino cherries all on a top of gluttinous rice, dusted with sugar. Yah… I dunno… I showed some Cantonese friends this dish and they were like: what happened to our ba bao fan? I dunno... bacon wrapped red bean paste… with cooked cherry halves… apparently Szechuan folks have funky test?

The typical SZ dishes have all been excellent as well: ma po to fu with crispy fried soy beans and fish fillet, ma la crispy fried lamb short ribs, fish hotpot with pickled mustard greens, etc.

PS, specials board translation:
Honey Money 8 treasure stick rice
Sprint-Welcoming Eye of Dragon sticky rice
Goat offals soup
Country style taro braised chicken
Crispy pungent half duck
Last one I'm not so sure. Something about oyster sauced varietal fresh mushrooms.

Szechuan Best
621 W Main St
Alhambra, CA
626 289 9200

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