If you enjoyed burning your tastebuds at Szechuan Impression, you will love you setting your mouth on fire at Chengdu Taste. Also, Phil Rosenthal claims it is the best Sichuan restaurant in the country, and Jonathan Gold swears by it. Out of the three different Chengdu Tastes, go for the original one. The second location accepts reservations, but nothing beats the Valley Boulevard one – despite the queue which can reach up to two hours on a Saturday night. Go in a large group (six is the magic number) to share Tony Xu’s favorite dishes: mapo tofu (with porl, as its name doesn’t imply), fish boiled in a green-pepper broth (the fish will melt in your mouth before the chilies burn it), lamb with cumin (served on toothpicks), the dan dan mian (warm noodles which will come in handy to calm things down) and “numb-taste wontons” (which are aptly named). Order some smoky plum juice and thank heaven for Chengdu Taste’s liquor license… and the cold beers that will tickle your anesthetized  taste buds.

 

Where? 828 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

When? Monday-Friday 11:AM-3PM and 5-10PM, Saturday-Sunday 11AM-10PM

How? No reservations

Style: Chinese

Price: approx $20 per person

Neighborhood: San Gabriel Valley

Best for: Dinner

 

Other locations:

Rosemead: 8548 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Rowland Heights: 18406 E Colima Road, Rowland Heights, CA 91748