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Famous Sichuan is the Real Deal

Famous Sichuan on Pell Street in Chinatown is a Sichuan restaurant to be respected. After sampling a poor mapo tofu at the new place at 75th and Amsterdam yesterday I was hungry for the real thing. Famous Sichuan's mapo tofu, which they call Bean Curd Sichuan style is very good. As a lunch special for $5.50 it is fantastic. I've also had their their double sauteed pork "chengdu style" and it was great.

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Famous Sichuan
10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. I've had the Chedgdu Style double sauteed pork from Famous Sichuan during lunch a number of times. It is up there with my very favorite dishes to eat in NYC.

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    Famous Sichuan
    10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

    1. Finally managed to stop into Famous Sichuan and made all the better for it on a cold winter evening. While their bench is certainly nowhere as deep as Szechuan Gourmet they are doing some dishes right and the menu is worth exploring further. Seems my table was the only one not having Sichuan Hot Pot. The only regrettable item ordered was Dan Dan Noodles. Although not drenched in red-hot chili oil like many other versions around town, this was a very limp offering that was tasteless. Having much more meat sauce would be a good start to improving their version. The hits were:

      Ox Tongue Tripe with Chili Sauce – could really taste the ma-la here.

      Sliced Conch with Chili Sauce – When our waiter, Mr. Liu (刘) was pressed with “Isn’t this going to be like the Ox Tongue and Tripe?” he assured us it wasn’t and he was right. No Sichuan peppercorns here.

      Chengdu Double Sautéed Pork (Twice-Cooked Pork) was divine. Lovely taste of sour pickle in this dish and days later I can still taste it and smile.

      Sautéed Snow Pea Shoots – delcious and seasoned just right.

      Frog Legs with Peppers – lightly deep-fried, on the bone and on the mark.

      Sautéed Bitter Melon – with a few smashed salted black beans. Provided a great contrast to the other dishes.

      Braised Whole Fish with Sichuan Chili Miso Sauce – Here the fish was Crucian Carp (鰂魚 – Zhe2 Yu2). The Sichuan Chili Miso Sauce was addicting with hints of saltiness, sweetness and spice.

      Slideshow:
      http://picasaweb.google.com/roswellhi...

      Website:
      http://www.famoussichuan.com/

      Famous Sichuan
      10 Pell Street
      New York, NY 10013
      Tel: 212-233-3888
      Fax: 212-233-3588

      Open everyday:
      Sun. to Thurs: 11 am to 10:30 pm
      Fri & Sat: 11 am to 11 pm

      2 Replies
      1. re: scoopG

        Well done scoopG. Excellent round-up and including pictures of the dishes is a great help.

        1. re: scoopG

          I went for dinner tonight. I got the Spicy Chengdu Noodles and the Braised Fish and Napa Cabbage in Chili Sauce, or at least I think those were the names they gave to the dishes. Neither was unbelievably great, but both were good. The noodles were essentially in a chili oil vinaigrette and, while nowhere near as good as the somewhat different Noodles with Chili Sauce that Spicy & Tasty makes, they were fine. I've had that braised fish dish in other places. I think Grand Sichuan St Marks' version might be a bit better, or at least on par. But their menu is interesting, they served it at a good "normal Sichuan-style" spiciness level for me (as I asked for it to be), and I plan on coming back to try other dishes.

        2. We were here on Sunday night. We came with a Chinese friend (not from Sichuan) who ordered for us. The upside was that he had been to the restaurant before and knew what and how to order. The downside was that he didn't order us any appetizers. (We were a large party, so we basically let him go to it.) We had the lamb with cumin sauce, a couple of beef dishes, the kung pao chicken and a few vegetable dishes. I don't know enough about Sichuan cuisine to know if this was the "real deal," but the meal was spicy, satisfying and affordable. We all left very full and happy at $17 per person.

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          Famous Sichuan
          10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

          3 Replies
          1. re: foodmonk

            Did you notice if they are still serving hot pot?

            1. re: mookleknuck

              Several tables of diners had ordered the hot pot.

          2. Is their "dinner" menu available at lunch time? I'd prefer to order from that than from their lunch specials as there is clearly more variety. But I worry given that they specifically call it the "Dinner" menu on their website.

            3 Replies
              1. re: adorno

                Pick a fish out of their tank and have the chef prepare it with sichuan chili miso sauce. delectable

                1. re: adorno

                  No reason to worry about that. I actually can't think of a Chinese restaurant that serves only lunch specials at lunch; maybe some Chinese-American takeout places do that, but not a serious Sichuan-style restaurant.

                2. We went this afternoon at around 4:30 and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. We ordered way too much food, but we look forward to feasting on the tasty leftovers tomorrow.

                  The Chengdu double-sauteed pork, recommended by others here, was outstanding. The two of us finished that dish completely; sadly, nothing left for tomorrow. The eggplant was flavorful and my SO very much enjoyed the ma po tofu, apparently perhaps the best ever. I didn't get around to trying it as I was too busy eating the other dishes. The only dish we found just okay was the tea-smoked duck dish, which was served with some greens (as opposed to the whole duck dish). It was too salty or too smoky tasting. Just for comparison, I liked the preparations I've tried elsewhere in the past, on handful of occasions.

                  Perhaps next time we will order the hotpot. But, I was confused by a sign on the door regarding hotpot orders: parties with more than 1 lb. of uneaten food remaining will be charged an additional $10. Huh? I also thought the menu specified some time limit on how long you could spending eating the dish. I'm no hotpot expert but I have never heard of either of these restrictions.

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                  Famous Sichuan
                  10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: uwsgrazer

                    Finally got out to this place Saturday night, around 645P, for the yuan yang huo guo (split hot pot). This was my first time here and so I cannot comment on their dishes. This will only be about the hot pot and its menu as the hot pot menu is not online. It was 25.95 per person, plus tax and tip. We, too, were greeted by the sign that said that we would be charged an extra $10 if there was over a pound of uneaten food. The menu itself said that we would be charged an extra $5 if there was over half a pound of uneaten food. And the waitress, upon questioning in Mandarin, told me that if we couldn't eat it (whatever we ordered), that it was best to leave it on the plate on the table, not cook it and then leave it there. We were also told that extra uneaten sauces would be charged to us as well. The menu claimed that there was a 1 hour and 45 minute limit on eating, but I am pretty sure we were eating for at least 2 hours and sat there for another 30 minutes without feeling overly rushed (we did get the bill at 2 hours and 15 minutes after arrival). I've seen pricing restrictions at other Asian restaurants in the States regarding paying for the wasting of uneaten food at AYCE buffets and time restrictions are quite common in Taiwan at AYCE hot pot. Baidu in Flushing also has a time limit, but theirs is 2 hours.

                    Despite a full restaurant and only three or four visible servers, I was able to flag down service almost every time we needed it and the waitresses tried hard to explain to our table in both English and Mandarin what we were ordering. While I did most of the talking in Mandarin, they strived to be accomodating to my friends who don't speak Mandarin. Most patrons were Asians in their twenties and thirties with a few families thrown in. There was a white patron in his thirties with two Asian friends and a black patron with his four Asian friends (and they all ordered completely in English). I saw some tables order sake and it seemed that about half the tables had the hot pot. Our waitress did seem confused by our request for other tea, asking us if we wanted iced tea after we'd been given a pot of their house blend. We stuck with the house blend.

                    The non-spicy broth had ginger, green onions and tomatoes in it, but wasn't remarkably good or bad. The mala (numbing and spicy) side had a lot of chilies and sichuan peppercorns in it, but even so, wasn't very spicy. If you've had the mala hot pot at Baidu (Mapo Szechuan) in Flushing, this is considerably milder. It wasn't a very complex broth and I wasn't impressed with the flavor before, during, or after the cooking (I usually like to have a bowl of each broth with my meal), but was fine.

                    This restaurant does not have a sauce station; instead, as noted above, you order the condiments from them to make your own. They have: sesame sauce (sort of like a very thin tahini), hoisin sauce, sachajiang (also called Chinese barbecue sauce, this is made from brill shrimp and comes in a silver metal can, if you've ever bought it before; it's brown and kind of gritty looking with a layer of oil that should be mixed in), minced garlic, and sesame oil. I also requested vinegar (they gave me black vinegar).

                    The variety of available vegetables, tofu products, seafood, and meat (and offal) was okay. From what I can remember, we ordered: frozen she-crab, large shrimp, 2 kinds of squid, baby (?) clams, fish balls; frozen tofu, taro, water spinach (kong xin cai) and spinach, wood ears (i think they are labeled something else on the menu, maybe black fungus; the Mandarin is mu er), king mushrooms, lamb, beef, pork, beef stomach (niu bai ye), pork intestine, and one other piece of offal (either beef or pork, some kind of tripe). The second plate of beef came out cut with the grain and made it an unpleasant chewing experience while the only plate of pork came out somewhat already defrosted and fell apart even cooked gently in the baskets. The taro seemed rather dried out, but still tasted good. We never received our squid nor our glasses of water requests, and they were rather stingy about extra utensils and dishes (I'm used to having a sauce bowl, soup bowl, rice bowl, AND plate, in addition to a greater number of utensils for both cooking and group serving). Still, we had a good time and the servings were quite generous. I overheard a table of Koreans where the guy insisted on the waitress bringing half-portions of some meats since he couldn't convince the rest of his family to help him eat the offal (I silently sympathized but bucked up and ate all of mine by myself!). It's a nice enough atmosphere and seems like a good enough value for Manhattan's Chinatown.

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                    Famous Sichuan
                    10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

                      1. re: mookleknuck

                        Great report, thanks!

                        I'm a slow eater and not a particularly big eater, either. In that case, perhaps hot pot isn't for me, at least not at Famous Sichuan or similarly run places. But in case I do go, can we specify that they not give us large servings, but then ask for more later if we finish the original amount? I'm all for not wasting food. But if I'm paying $25.95 I also don't want to leave hungry, especially if there are certain meats or other stuff that I liked and subsequently decide I want more than the initial reduced portion size.

                        1. re: uwsgrazer

                          instead of hot pot you should choose live seafood out of their tank and have them cook it in the style of your choice. they have a much cleaner tank than most chinatown restaurants and the fish have good flavor. they usually have crabs and lobsters too. Then order a few Sichuan entrees

                          1. re: AubWah

                            Thanks. Good info to have for future reference.

                            We were still talking about the delicious Sichuan dishes again tonight at dinner. Will have to visit again soon.

                          2. re: uwsgrazer

                            I think that in general, hot pot at restaurants usually involves ordering multiple times; I'm not sure if they would agree to smaller portions since they may already have a set amount they give with each order, but you could certainly only order four-six things at a time and then order more again when you were finished with what was on your table.

                            If you leave hot pot hungry, then you're just not trying hard enough. (I had an American boss overseas who would make the same claim, but everyone else pooh-poohed that saying that he clearly didn't eat enough.) I don't think it likely that you will leave hungry. But you can also buy a lot of food for 25.95 and have it at home.

                            And AubWah is right in that their tanks looked very clean. If I weren't in the mood for hot pot and had a big group dinner, I would totally try one of their fish along with some of the other dishes. It looks like I'll have to try that the next time I'm in that part of town.

                      2. (For Pat Hammond):
                        I've been eyeing this dish every time I pass by the place: 五更肠旺 /Pig Tripe Blood Cake w. Sauce. It is a dish that's supposed to warm you up from the inside out. Their version of it comes to the table heated with the flame underneath.. Instead of Pig Tripe though, it's pig intestine, tender but still have good texture, with slices of blood cake that look like dark burgundy colored tofu slices. There were slices of chicken, too. I would have preferred mine with some extra intestine instead of chicken.

                        It's not for everyone, but if you like offal this is a good version. Also, we probably don't have many more cold weather left this year, so enjoy while you can!

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                        Famous Sichuan
                        10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: HLing

                          Best Fuzhou on Eldridge Street and Rural in Flushing also both feature this dish - 五更Wǔ Gēng means the Fifth Watch - 5:00 am in Imperial China. So this spicy dish is supposed to keep you awake! Photo below is of Rural's excellent rendition.

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                          Best Fuzhou
                          71 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

                           
                          1. re: scoopG

                            ah interesting i was wondering what the 五更 part meant

                            1. re: scoopG

                              Thanks ScoopG for the info on Best Fuzhou!

                              I had another meal at Famous Sichuan the other day. It was a warm day. I wanted to try another dish with pork intestine in it. (since they didn't have rice-powder steamed pork available that day). I ordered C38 or C39, the Sichuan Pepper Pork Intestine. It was better than i'd imagined. The slices of intestines are fried to crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with dry fried sichuan pepper pods, garlic slices, leek bits. The numbing sichuan pepper and the pork rind -like texture made for good combo.

                              1. re: HLing

                                I went to Famous Sichuan again for dinner this past night. They have some new dishes that are not on the menu yet (it seemed) but pictured on the wall. I got one of them - the Farm Fresh Chicken. The only problem with it is that it's made only with little scraps that all have bones but little meat. However, it's delicious. It's made with ginger, garlic, scallions, hot oil, small slices of long spicy peppers, and lots of whole dried red bird's eye chilis.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  Thanks for the updates! Will make sure to add it to my rotation.

                            2. re: HLing

                              My goodness! Here I am in Boston visiting grandchildren, and I come upon your post. You're so right-- this is my kind of food. We've had precious little weather cold enough for this kind of treat, but it's going on my calendar for next year, when I hope we have some winter! Thanks so much, HLing. I hope all is well with you!

                              1. re: Pat Hammond

                                Pat! So glad to hear from you! I hope to hear your opinion on those dishes before a whole year goes by.

                                1. re: Pat Hammond

                                  I'm sorry to say, Pat, that the intestine dish is no longer good: not enough intestine, and what they did have, small and not fatty enough. They use a lot more pork blood and slices of chicken, which taste dry to me. The menu is different now. The owner changed. Chef gone. I had hoped for a tea-smoked duck that's decent, but it was quite dry with more bone than meat.

                              2. Wanted to bump this thread to give another thumbs-up to this place. Every dish I've gotten here has been good to great.

                                I'm not the biggest soft tofu fan, but the ma po tofu might be my favorite dish at Famous Sichuan - just a terrific combination of textures and flavors (chili, peppercorn, black beans, pork, etc.).

                                I went with a vegetarian relative a month ago and they were willing to make a non-pork version of ma po tofu. And you know what? It was still pretty damn good - I think they kicked up the black bean flavor a little bit to compensate for the absence of pork. My relative said it was one of the best Chinese vegetarian dishes he's ever had,

                                Getting ma po tofu or Chengdu double cooked pork for $5.50 at lunch is an absolute steal. I just wish they put a few more of their Sichuan dishes on the lunch menu!

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                                Famous Sichuan
                                10 Pell St, New York, NY 10013

                                1. We're going back tonight with an out-of-town guest. On our previous visit, a friend from China did the ordering. Any suggestions for folks? Hints on how to get them to serve it with enough hot peppers and Sichuan peppercorn?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: foodmonk

                                    i havent eaten here, so i can't comment on dishes. However, i'd just be really insistent on wanting authentic sichuan food and you want it to be very spicy like really be insistent on it, that you really like spicy food and you've eaten before and make sure the waiter gives you an affirmation that it's going to be spicy.

                                    This is going to a little racist, but alot of chinese people don't really believe non-chinese (particularly non-asians) that they are going to like things authentic and I think that's particularly around things that are spicy or are like "weird" (offal, fermented stuff etc).

                                    Like this even has happened to me before at great sichuan, which is capable of making good sichuan food and they automatically assumed i wanted it dumbed down

                                  2. There’s a back story to this place. Let me take you back to the early 1980s. Reagan was president, disco was in the air and Szechuan food had recently arrived in NY. Life was tougher then. Unlike today you couldn’t find terrific Sichuan restaurants in every neighborhood - you had to make a pilgrimage to Flushing or Chinatown and even there the pickings were sparse. But if you looked hard, you could find them. A fine example was the House of Taiwan on Pell Street.

                                    At that time Sichuan food in New York was still evolving. The menus were considerably shorter than Sichuan restaurants today but they still had food that you couldn’t get anywhere else. House of Taiwan was executing beautifully. They served robustly flavored Kung Pao dishes, their General Tso’s chicken had real heat to it and the Chungking chicken was laced with plenty of red chilies. The place was great. They didn’t just pile on the spices – this was a careful kitchen and all the dishes had real balance.

                                    I regularly took my kids there. They were 5 and 6 and they loved it – Chinatown was like a trip to another world. Narrow streets. Exotic sights. From the sidewalk you could watch giant carp swimming in tanks. It was at House of Taiwan where my kids learned to eat Sichuan and use chopsticks. The restaurant closed in the mid 1980s and we mourned it.

                                    Flip the calendar ahead almost 30 years and the same storefront that housed House of Taiwan now contains Famous Sichuan. It’s almost enough to make you believe in mystical connections. The best part of all is that Famous Sichuan is a fully worthy successor.

                                    We’ve gone twice. In terms of décor it’s your standard bright lights Chinese place, maybe a cut above most. Pleasant enough.

                                    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7226/71...

                                    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8151/71...

                                    They serve a predominately Chinese crowd with a sprinkling of Westerners. Service was good on the first visit but the place was only 40% full. The second time around they were doing a really good business. Unfortunately this forced us to be assertive in flagging down servers to get additional rounds of drinks and later, the check. I can live with that.

                                    On to the food. (Keep in mind that we’re describing 2 separate meals here. There are limits to how much even we can eat.

                                    )

                                    Starters –

                                    Sichuan wontons with red oil – A very good version in a city that lately is filled with equally worthy examples.

                                    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8015/71...

                                    Stir fried minced chicken with pine nuts and lettuce. – This was a sentimental choice. The great Hwa Yuan in Flushing used to serve a roughly similar dish in the late 1980s. It was a wonderful blend of diced chicken, celery, pine nuts, and hot spices. This one was good in its own way but they skimped on the pine nuts, an essential ingredient.

                                    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7105/71...

                                    Sichuan wontons w. pepper sauce – Reading the menu, this seemed like an interesting variation on the standard wontons in hot oil. On the plate it was fine but overbalanced by an excess of vinegar. Assuming that’s what they intended there’s no reason to order this again.

                                    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7089/71...

                                    Chengdu Noodles w. spicy sesame sauce – This appeared with the cold dishes but is actually served at room temperature. It was excellent. It wasn’t mentioned on the menu but the noodles contain bits of crispy bean sprouts that added a nice crunch and freshness. The overall flavor was distinct from the standard dan dan and cold sesame noodles but every bit as good as the best versions I’ve had of those dishes. A keeper. (I really need to start taking notes – these descriptions are somewhat imprecise.

                                    )

                                    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5454/71...

                                    On to the mains –

                                    Sautéed Fresh pork bacon with spicy sauce. – Our old friend Enhanced Pork (from Spicy & Tasty), aka pork belly with chili leeks (Szechuan Gourmet). This was a very good version but I ordered it in a moment of weakness. I need to put a pork belly moratorium into effect. I’m becoming jaded even by excellent examples.

                                    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8022/71...

                                    Braised Beef Filet with Napa Cabbage – This is a close relative of the braised chili beef we get at Grand Sichuan House in Bay Ridge. Like its sibling dish there’s a dusting of spices on top that needed to be mixed in. (If you don’t do this you’ll blow the top of your head off.) We love the version at GSH (an 8.5 or 9 out of 10) but this was a 10. The beef was wonderfully tender and flavorful. Even when you mix it carefully it’s not a dish for sissies. This was hot stuff.

                                    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7090/71...

                                    Roasted beef filet in bean curd sauce – This was ordered on a different visit than the preceding dish. The beef was meltingly tender but the spicing was different and the inclusion of silken tofu changed the flavor profile entirely. This was an excellent dish, which is a surprising verdict for me. I dislike the consistency of even the best made silken tofu (I prefer tofu cooked to a firmer texture) but this dish won me over.

                                    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5275/71...

                                    Stir friend chicken w. spicy capsicum – This was a great version of a dish that’s become a standard at better Sichuan restaurants around the city. If you haven’t tasted it you’ll really enjoy it here. If you’re familiar with it unless you’ve got a specific craving you may want to try something new. It’s a very good kitchen so your chances of getting something different and memorable are high.

                                    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5192/71...

                                    Portions ranged from generous to very large. The large dishes are priced proportionately at around $17 or $18. If we were moderate people we could easily have shared one of the larger entrees but we wanted to taste everything. The leftovers are sitting in our fridge.

                                    Based on a couple of visits I’m adding Famous Sichuan to the ever growing list of first rate Chinese restaurants around the city. I am also disproportionately pleased that an excellent Sichuan restaurant is operating on the site of the legendary House of Taiwan.

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                      Bob, your pictures are incredible. Thanks for sharing yet another awesome review.

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          I thought you'd been there already. You always beat me everywhere. :-)

                                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                                            its one of the only sichuan restaurants i havent tried for some reason haha

                                        2. re: Bob Martinez

                                          Thanks for the detailed review! I've been going through some of the lunch specials and agree Famous Sichuan is top rate. I know what you mean about the Pork Belly moratorium. Some addictions are best left untreated perhaps. Before that takes effect I suggest you try their Chengdu Double Sauteed Pork - this version has hot green peppers added for extra oomph.

                                          1. re: scoopG

                                            I think when I finally break my pork belly fast that will be the dish I do it with.

                                        3. Famous Sichuan used to be my favorite Chinese restaurant. But today, their Chengdu lobster dish I ordered had a quarter-inch thick coating of starch.. To make things worse, those thick, I mean, ridiculously thick starch layers stuck to the lobster bits, were not even fully cooked and they looked pale grey. I complained to my server, they cooked it again and brought it to the table again, only to find that it was the same version cooked in more oil... Now, thick, inedible layers of starch in grease... -_-;; It was NEVER like that before and I asked whether they had a new chef and the server said yes indeed. According to her, their previous chef has left.

                                          I told them it was inedible, paid for what I already ate except the lobster (or corn starch) dish and left. I will never go back. I am so sad that my favorite Chinese restaurant has been completely ruined.

                                           
                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: kosmose7

                                            "Famous Sichuan used to be my favorite Chinese restaurant. "

                                            One bad meal and you cross it off your list? Wow. You're strict.

                                            1. re: Bob Martinez

                                              I think you missed the part where he found out they had a new chef. Seems pretty damning.

                                              1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                I was there a week ago Saturday night. The food was excellent.

                                                Dan Dan noodles - as good as any I've had around the city

                                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8144/72...

                                                Stir-Fried Minced Chicken w. Pine Nuts and Lettuce - this was the 2nd time we had this. Last time I thought it was very good but needed a bit more heat. I mentioned it this time around and they upped the spice level. Terrific. I haven't seen this dish at other restaurants in years. Believe me, I've looked.

                                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8002/72...

                                                Shredded Beef w. Spicy Dried Bean Curd - the first time I had this here. An excellent version.

                                                http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8165/72...

                                                Roasted Beef Filet w. Bean Curd Sauce - Tender full flavored beef, perfectly cooked and a generous portion of ma po tofu. Another dish I haven't seen elsewhere

                                                http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7082/72...

                                                A bonus - a girl wearing a skull jacket!

                                                http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7236/72...

                                                Now it's possible that the old chef left that evening for greener pastures when the restaurant closed that night, never to return. Or maybe he didn't. (We've got one report about one dish.) Or maybe the old chef took a night off. Or maybe the new guy doesn't do a good job with lobsters. We'll just have to wait a while and find out.

                                                1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                  Well that's information we didn't have before. Good to know. I haven't been yet, but I'll wait for the dust to settle. Thanks for the report.

                                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                    I'm glad that you enjoyed your dinner and did not go through what I did.

                                                    I am generally not too picky and I am willing to bear simple mistakes at restaurants. But to me, that lobster with literally quarter-inch thick, uncooked starch layers was just bad enough to make me suspect whether it was intentional (to increase the portion perhaps? I don't know) rather than a simple mistake. May be the old chef was present when you were there and he wasn't when I visited. I don't know. My mom is in town and I had strongly insisted to have dinner there together, which turned out to be a disaster.

                                                    Yes, this judgement is based upon one dish, and perhaps I may change my mind if you post positive reviews in the future, but I do not wanna take a risk for now. It was that terrible.

                                                    (btw, Dan Dan noodles was good as usual, but egg drop soup was also way too salty and unbelievably greasy, which I couldn't eat either but paid for)

                                                    Anyway, thanks for your info.

                                                      1. re: AubWah

                                                        I found myself in Chinatown last week and took an opportunity to stop for dinner at Famous Sichuan. I don’t think it was an entirely random choice; I feel as if my feet had been leading me there all day. Not my fault.

                                                        My current favorites, shredded beef with spicy capsicum and braised beef filet with napa cabbage, seemed a little too robust after a long, hot day of walking. I cooled down over their nice, spicy beef tendon. I love the heat in this cool dish, and I love the scallions over top. I also had their soft tofu Sichuan style, excellent as ever. I don’t this kitchen is missing a step. Trying to think of a way to talk Himself into returning tonight.

                                                      2. re: kosmose7

                                                        Sorry to hear that your lobster sucked. I'd probably be miffed as well. I hope your experience was an aberration.

                                                        I did get take out from there today and ordered the beef filet with napa cabbage. It was very good. Beef filets were tender and sauce was flavorful. Spice level wasn't very high, especially as I asked them to make it extra spicy. I would probably say it was like Zabb Elee's 1.5 or 2 level. But still a good dish.

                                                    1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                      I have found their food can be inconsistent on Mondays, traditional day off for chefs. But otherwise FS delivers.

                                                      1. re: scoopG

                                                        I tried Famous Sichuan on a Monday evening and thought the sichuan pork dumplings and chong quing chicken were excellent. I'll definitely return soon.