So Sunday night did a big extended family journey out to Monterey Park for Best Szechuan; big fan.
Walked in (the rest of the group was waiting for us thanks to fun on the 101), and saw dry-fried beef in the display case (think that's what it's called), and we got an order to start. Hot and sweet, and everyone was a fan, except my 14-month-old cousin, who we limited to the mild dishes.
After that, pretty much ordered off the L.A. times article, since I hadn't been there before (hit Chung King a few months back).
The dan dan noodles were excellent, and took a bit of the heat off the beef we had just had.
We then had the golden lobster; first good lobster I've had since leaving Boston. The flavoring was very nice, but more shanghaiese (I think).
The sizzling seafood soup and the wonton soup were both good, with the sweetness and the meat flavor well balanced, and gave the baby something to eat.
The tea-smoked duck (they called it herbal) was far better than the same dish I had had at Shangri-La just north of Boston, and even impressed my mom, who normally will not eat duck.
The zen-zen lamb tasted more like islamic chinese than szechuan, but was a good way to end a the meal.
There were a couple touches of what I suppose I would call authenticity that were just odd for a west-sider. Haven't been used to cigarette smoking in restaurants since I visited China (fortunately it stopped soon afte we got there), and definitely not used to the attention a blond-haired baby gets in some of the cities there (it was very weird to see in L.A.). And only one guy spoke English. This is a strange city.
Went to some place called healthy desert a bit east afterward; great black sesame ice cream and mangoes.
Came to about $150 for 5 1/2 of us (not cheap, but far less then a comparable french, italian, or japanese place).
Definitely need to head back.