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Oct 10, 2008 09:59 AM

I Should've Gone to Szechuan Gourmet...

Living in Santa Monica, I have access to plenty of great Americanized Chinese food in the immediate area. But I find myself missing the bold and spicy flavors of the authentic sichuan cooking I used to enjoy in Manhattan. I was never a big fan of Wu Liang Ye -- Szechuan Gourmet was always my go-to place. But I've been hearing good things abut the former recently, so I decided to give the 48th St. location another try.

Big mistake. Fried dumplings tasted spoiled -- like they'd been made months before then nuked for my meal. Even worse was the shredded chicken in spicy garlic sauce. The chicken was the same processed strips you see in every corner takeout place these days -- utterly devoid of flavor. The sauce was bland and watery, with no discernible garlic and not a lot of spice.

I've always felt WLY could spice their food more aggressively -- that's partly why I prefer the mapo tofu elsewhere. Still, this was inexcusably bad. All I could think as I ate was, I should've gone to Szechuan Gourmet...

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