Having read all the raves about Sichuan Garden on this website and knowing I'd be right around the corner from it this holiday season, I was looking forward to giving it a try. Sichuan Chinese is one of our most favorite cuisines. That said, I have never ever had such a bad Ma Po Dofu (they spelled it a little differently on the menu). It tasted like the chef had poured a cup of MSG into the dish. Once you took a bite the aftertaste lingered on and on making all the other food taste strongly metallic. It even overpowered the sichuan peppercorns which were evident in the smell of the dish but not the taste. We did try to explain our problems with the dish to the waiter, but he just looked perplexed and kept asking us if it was too spicy.
Our meal might not have been ruined if we had done two simple things:
1. Asked for no MSG
2. Not told the waiter that we loved hot and spicy food, especially the chinese "ma la" preparations.