Hey Everyone. I spent a year in China, a month of which was in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. As expected, I became addicted to the "ma" (tingling, soapy-numbing) in the food.
However, I have been searching for ma ever since I got back and haven't found it. I tried a few places in Brooklyn and one place in Chinatown (never been to any of the Grand Sichuans, though). Now I live in Astoria, and I just got back from Flushing. Long story short, I got the twice cooked pork at Spicy & Tasty, then went over to Little Pepper. Nothing. At Little Pepper, I even spoke to the owner - in Chinese - and explained that I loved BOTH hot and numbing food, and could she please recommend something. She pointed to a lamb dish, and I said fine.
What the heck's going on? In Shanghai, not to mention Chengdu, every time I ordered Sichuanese cuisine I was smacked in the face with the ma. Around here, it seems lost. The flavors are fine, the heat is fine, but...
Can anyone empathize? Am I just unlucky? Are my standards too unreasonable? I've seen the huajiao peppercorns sold around here, so I know they're around.
Anyone have any suggestions?
133-43 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354
Spicy & Tasty
39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354