At Washington Sq., 690 Washington St. I was at Washington Sq. Tavern and wanted some Chinese takeout. a few doors down is Dragon Star, then a sushi place I haven't been to, the Rice Garden. OMG! Great, authentic Chinese in a little hole in the wall. They have blackboard specials (actually it's a whiteboard), and lots of Chinese clients. I couldn't decide.....had actually gotten some yummies from there at xmas time that were very authentic (sour beans w/ground pork -- Hunan style, Yu Hsiang tofu -- ok, I know it may not be found in China, but Chinese friends loved it). Was told that they try to push Westerners to try the real thing; how cool is that? And unusual. I need no prodding. Tonight, beef with cumin and watercress, much like the lamb with cumin my Turkistani friends make, full of red peppers, tender beef, watercress, shredded lettuce, and a nice cumin flavor and aroma, topped with sesame. Soooo good. Then Chicken and shrimp in chili sauce, baby shrimp and diced chicken, in (again) lots of chili's, but also real Sichuan peppercorns (I know, I can tell, and my mouth is still numb -- aren't these forbidden for some reason? please don't tell!!). I want to try more. A bit oily, but that's normal for traditional stuff too; got to eat it hot. It was hot too -- a big pile of dried peppers left in the container, so no need to ask for it to be done properly. And on that note, they gave me hot tea while I waited, which was a nice touch on this frigid night. Only two small tables -- takeout is the main deal, but if you want to try some authentic stuff go here. I haven't seen the like in Chinatown even. Let me know if you do go and have some other things. I'm going back.