Is there a future for Szechuan food in Queens? After our meal here on Saturday night were daring to hope again.
We spotted it while cruising for a parking spot. Since we found one around the corner, we decided it was fated that we try it, so we walked in. Apparently it opened a week or so ago.
Theres no Formica or fluorescents in sight. Its a comfortable, pleasant room with lots of space between tables, and upholstered chairs. Smelled pretty good, though not as intoxicating as that smoky pepper smell that used to permeate Lion Pavilion.
We ordered our old favorite apps, Wonton in Hot Sesame Oil (not as hot as L.P. used to serve them, a little on the sweet side for my taste, but highly scarfable,) and Dan Dan noodles (on the menu here as Noodle in Szechuan, bearing three out of a possible 3* for heat.) The latter were very hot, and really good. The sauce leaned heavily on Szechuan peppercorns. I could smell them, plus my tongue was equally burning and numb. Its not my favorite sensation, but I did inhale my portion of the noodles.
A fave of many chowhounds, Sliced Beef Tendon in Hot Sauce, is listed among the cold appetizers, none of which we tried. We also passed on the Wonton in Soup & Zimi the Seed of Jobs Tears, the Zaoni Jujube Pasted & Butter Nutsg Cakes (both listed as apps), and the Pork dish Guoba Ckust of Cooked Rice Cruse w. Pork. (Yes, this is exactly how they appear on the menu.) If anyone can explain what these are, Im all ears.
We also had Diced Fish w. House special Chili Sauce, a 1* whose heat barely registered. It was tasty, though. Dried Sauteed String Beans were also good.
Service was friendly and attentive. We had a chat with a maitre-d-type who told us he has some restaurants in Manhattan and was on hand only to help train the staff of his friends new restaurant. I think the staff will do just fine when hes gone. Meanwhile, Im about ready for another visit.
135-15 37th Ave (cor. Prince) 718-888-9388
Open 7 days @ 11:30 am, open 'til 3 am Fri-Sun, 1 am other days