My wife and I recently moved to San Francisco from New York, and so far we're loving our new city... except for one thing.
We desperately miss the double-cooked pork from NY's Grand Sichuan. We've visited a few places that are supposed to have good Sichuan food, but we always end up with pork that looks like this:
I mean, that's barely distinguishable from chicken. What we're really looking for is pork like this:
Or even this:
If twice-cooked pork (ideally with leeks and black beans) is too specific, how about any Sichuan place that serves pork belly meat, in any form?
It looks like you are having problems with menu terminology. The two pictures you showed are of two bona fide but distinctly different Sichuan dishes. The first picture is yuxiang rousi (鱼香肉丝), which often is translated "pork with garlic sauce" as in the example you cited. Yes, the second picture is the true "Twice cooked pork" (回鍋肉, hui guo rou). You can find it at Z&Y and other Sichuan restaurants, just make sure you order the right thing.
If it helps, you can print this out:
WRONG: 鱼香肉丝 or anything else ;-)
Your third picture just looks like crispy skin roast pork, not twice-cooked pork.
Little Sichuan in San Mateo, yummy, yummy. You've got the leeks and black beans. Some days are oilier (sp?) and saltier (too many black beans). Other days are heaven.
Try Panda Country Kitchen on Geary (btw 11th and 12th) in San Francisco. The name leaves something to desired but don't let it deter you, it is as close to Grand Sichuan as you will find. I know I just moved last year from the NYC and had the same dilemma. Its not quite GS but still very good subsitute. Good luck
Great China in Berkeley and Grand Szechwan in Richmond both have very nice versions...the latter is more authentic but the former is to "die for"!
Great Szechuan in the Pacific East Mall in Richmond/El Cerrito has two versions of twice cooked pork -- "Szechuan style" which is a ton of fatty belly meat with sliced green and red hot peppers and chopped scallions in a puddle of fire oil; and "with leeks" which I haven't tried because I like the other so much.
Both are $9.95. It's more than enough for two.
Great Szechuan (closed)
3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA
China Village. Great for all things Sichuan.
1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706