Is there any better Chinese restaurant in Minnesota than Little Szechuan? Their motto captures its essence:
一菜一格, 百菜百味 (Yi Cai Yi Ge, Bai Cai Bai Wei) or
“For each dish, each style. In a hundred dishes, one hundred flavors.”
In the course of two visits these dishes were devoured:
Szechuan Cold Bean Jelly – pleasing cold bean jelly noodles that contrasted with the numbing ma la heat of the chilies.
Potato Shreds with Green Peppers – estimable rendition.
Cumin Lamb – tender, flavorful pieces of dry-fried lamb with a healthy dose of cumin.
Gong Bao (or Kung Pao) Chicken – as good as it gets. Lightly stir-fried and not ladened with thick cornstarch glop. Just what your Sichuanese grandmother would have made for you.
Stir Fried Pea Tips – fresh with pieces of garlic. Just a tad overcooked but a great sight to see.
Dan Dan Noodles – Disappointment here as I make this a lot. Needed more meat.
Abundant evidence for me at Little Szechuan of accomplished Wok Hei. And best of all: no buffet. Ever! It will assuredly be a destination restaurant for me in the Twin Cities. They could do with a greater selection of veggie dishes and utilize a wider variety of Chinese greens that are available in the Twin Cities. Little Szechuan would fit right in the Big Apple – but they’d have to jettison the egg rolls, fried chicken wings and chow mien. (I understand they have to have these dishes for the uninformed and perhaps walk-in, take-out neighbors.) One menu quibble is the Chicken and Shrimp, Lettuce Wrap appetizers – this must be from a Vietnamese influence because it’s certainly not Chinese. When is that Light Rail link up to their door going to happen? A true Chinese cuisine palace. I’ll be back.