Thanks to the holiday, we had a chance to get to China Star in the Fair City Mall, Fairfax. It was most definitely worth the wait.
The standout dish for me was an entree called "Spicy Capsicum Diced Chicken." Mrs. W.'s Chinese co-workers call it "chicken with three peppers."
Anyway, with capsicum in the name, you'd expect something pretty spicy. This dish was in fact the single hottest thing I have ever been served in a restaurant, surpassing the previous champ, a barbecue sauce at East Coast Grill in Cambridge Mass.
This chicken dish is proof that just because something is monstrously hot, you can't taste anything else. You take a bite of this stuff and you just want more. Incredibly seductive. But because it's so hot, 8-10 chowhounds could order one plate and be happy.
Other winners were, from the appetizer section, hot spicy shredded tofu, from the dim sum section, scallion pancake (which turned out to look like Indian poori bread) and triple-stuffed tofu skin, and from the house specials section, crystal shrimp (a huge portion of beautiful shrimp in a soothing sauce -- minimalist food at its best).
We were the only non-chinese in the place. Just about every other table got some kind of hot pot or meal-in-a-bowl kind of dish -- good to know for future reference. The table next to us got "braised fish."
And if you go with a non-chowhound, there's a full menu of ordinary suburban chinese dishes.