I went to Chung King in Monterey Park and, of all things, got kung pao chicken. (It's called chicken with chili peppers and peanuts on the menu.) Having had kung pao chicken at countless gringo-oriented Szechuan restaurants, I wondered what it would be like at the real thing. At first I noticed a smoky flavor that I liked. As I kept eating, though, it became oppressively sweet, like maybe it was full of sugar. What is the deal with sugar in Chinese food? Does any real Szechuan dish have sugar in it, or is the sugar purely for gringos? Or maybe I was tasting something other than sugar? Not much English is spoken at Chung King, so I couldn't ask them. I was disappointed to think that Chung King would gringo-ize my food, so I'm hoping that someone has another explanation.