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Where to find dry Sichuan chicken with peppers?

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sparkyk Apr 22, 2011 10:50 AM

I had this dish in SF that I'm trying to find in LA. Fried diced chicken tossed with dried chilis (that you don't really eat). There's no sauce, basically eaten dry. Not sure if there is an official name or region for this dish but I'm really craving it. Any places you can point me, my stomach would be grateful - in West LA but willing to drive to SGV.

Thanks!

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  1. Ciao Bob RE: sparkyk Apr 22, 2011 11:01 AM

    My current favorite for this is Lucky Noodle King. REALLY GOOD. I was in Chengdu in January and had this dish (with wild mountain rabbit instead of chicken) and it WAS better in Chengdu...surprise, surprise...but not by much!

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    Lucky Noodle King
    534 E Valley Blvd #10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ciao Bob
      echoparkdirt RE: Ciao Bob May 2, 2011 03:25 PM

      Checked out Lucky Noodle King rendition. Unimpressed. Small portions compared to NCQ and CK, almost no batter, seemed like it was simply wok-fried spicey chicken. No szechuan peppercorns i could find.

      The Dan Dan Noodles i found soupy, too peanuty, not nearly as delicately complex as the NCQ version. Potstickers were also average. A disappointment.

      -----
      Lucky Noodle King
      534 E Valley Blvd #10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

    2. w
      webb RE: sparkyk Apr 22, 2011 02:51 PM

      Many Sichuan places (and even some Hunanese places) in SGV will have this: Chung King, Lucky Noodle King, New Chong Qing. It's probably translated differently at different restaurants. At Chung King it's called Fried Chicken Cubes w/ Hot Pepper. I don't know of any place in West LA that would have this, but maybe someone else here does.

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      Chung King Restaurant
      1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

      New Chong Qing
      120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

      Lucky Noodle King
      534 E Valley Blvd #10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

      18 Replies
      1. re: webb
        Ciao Bob RE: webb Apr 22, 2011 03:08 PM

        I have also seen it called Chong Qing Chicken, and Spicy Chicken with Prickly Ash. New Chong Qing, JTHY and Hunan Seafood do amazing versions of the preparation with lamb ribs as well as chicken.

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        Hunan Seafood Restaurant
        8772 E Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

        New Chong Qing
        120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

        1. re: Ciao Bob
          echoparkdirt RE: Ciao Bob Apr 22, 2011 03:42 PM

          do you know what the lamb rib dish at new chong qing is called?

          1. re: echoparkdirt
            Ciao Bob RE: echoparkdirt Apr 22, 2011 04:19 PM

            I am sorry, I do not. Perhaps one of our Chinese speakers can help.
            I expect it is something like Special Lamb Rib (or Chop) with a lot of fiery little red peppers next to it on the menu.

            1. re: echoparkdirt
              b
              bulavinaka RE: echoparkdirt Apr 22, 2011 04:54 PM

              I remember exilekiss doing his 10.0 work on New Chong Qing a while back:

              http://exilekiss.blogspot.com/2010/07...

              He was disappointed with it (name is Hsiang La Yahng Pai/Special Lamb Chop) - more like lamb bones - maybe Sichuan-style beer nibbles? Ciao Bob - maybe they've now got some meat on dem bones?

              1. re: bulavinaka
                Ciao Bob RE: bulavinaka Apr 22, 2011 05:22 PM

                Bulavinaka - they were just the right amount of meat and fat/gristle and grease when I had them for my last lunch of 2010 on 12/31. I brought an SGV "neewbie" who knows nothing about "real" Chinese food and she could not stop raving about 'em.

                1. re: Ciao Bob
                  b
                  bulavinaka RE: Ciao Bob Apr 22, 2011 05:33 PM

                  Texture and flavor is what it's all about - but where's the beer?! :) Thanks...

                2. re: bulavinaka
                  s
                  suvro RE: bulavinaka Apr 26, 2011 04:00 PM

                  Based on exilekiss pictorial review, and this thread, we tried New Chong Qing today for lunch. The place was practically deserted. Counting us, there were 4 occupied tables over the 1.5 hour period we were there.

                  We tried the House Special Fish dish. It was awesome! The soup had such a profusion of flavors, but what sticks in my mind is a slightly sour component, that made all the flavors very vibrant. The whole fish, including the head, absorbed all the flavors beautifully. However, it was not numbingly hot. The strainer to keep all the peppers, sprouts, and assorted spices from getting into our bowl was a nice touch. It makes for less work removing those from the individual bowls.
                  The Special Stir Fried Lamb was also outstanding - what great flavors. It was a bit too salty, but lamb and cilantro was in perfect harmony!
                  We also ordered the Fat Beef Rice, but after the two former dishes, this was a notch lower in taste, though by just a whisker. Had we had other less spicy dishes, I think this one would have also been outstanding.
                  To dilute the effect, we stopped next door at the boba place and got a mango smoothie with boba!
                  Another glorious day in SoCal ethnic dining!

                  -----
                  New Chong Qing
                  120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                  1. re: suvro
                    j
                    JThur01 RE: suvro Apr 29, 2011 12:18 PM

                    Great, sounds like a good day. I've been in NCQ at lunch when it has been very quiet too, especially weekdays, but recently noticed that they are open until 1AM (ipse will tell me they've done that for a long time, but *I* just noticed it upon my first visit in some time, and then they were still 10-11PM).

                    Boba place, Half & Half Tea House? Good idea. My after Sichuan routine usually involves getting a milk tea or Taiwanese shaved ice. They are the perfect cappers.

                    1. re: JThur01
                      echoparkdirt RE: JThur01 Apr 29, 2011 01:08 PM

                      Just called them, they said they are open till 11pm every day.

                      1. re: echoparkdirt
                        j
                        JThur01 RE: echoparkdirt Apr 29, 2011 03:36 PM

                        Odd, the sign in the window says 1AM.

                      2. re: JThur01
                        s
                        suvro RE: JThur01 Apr 29, 2011 01:25 PM

                        Yes - Half & Half Tea House. Their mango smoothie was excellent, though a supersized version and somewhat pricey. I wish they would offer a smaller size for a smaller price.

                        1. re: suvro
                          j
                          JThur01 RE: suvro Apr 29, 2011 03:38 PM

                          Not to get OT in this thread, but Half & Half is very good, though somewhat pricey. And, usually packed with people. Their boba are honey-soaked.

                          1. re: JThur01
                            echoparkdirt RE: JThur01 Apr 29, 2011 03:49 PM

                            I called NCG, not H&H

                            1. re: echoparkdirt
                              j
                              JThur01 RE: echoparkdirt Apr 29, 2011 08:35 PM

                              I should have mentioned the sign in the window at NCQ read 1 AM, but that was on Saturdays.

                              1. re: JThur01
                                s
                                suvro RE: JThur01 Apr 30, 2011 12:06 PM

                                I went back to NCQ last evening (Friday) and took my wife. At around 8pm, it was quite full - mainly long tables with very young clientele, none of them non-Chinese. A table for 2 was easy to get. My wife, who is not that into "authentic" Chinese food, said that when we entered, the smell she got was somewhat unappealing to her.
                                We ordered the stir fried lamb, and the kung pao chicken and rice. It was a good introductory choice for my wife, and since we were not starving, enough food for the two of us.
                                The lamb came first, and as at lunch, it was superb! The balance of cilantro and slightly fatty slivers of lamb is great, while not being numbingly hot.
                                The kung pao chicken came out soon afterwards, and it was as expected. The crunchy bits of chicken had a slight sweetness to it, but otherwise was spicy and savory. We had two rounds of helpings, and had enough leftover to bring home for lunch today. On the way back home, my wife said she could envision us going there once a month, and introducing other friends to this restaurant.
                                We did stop at Half and Half Tea House and got an obligatory mango smoothie with boba to share on the ride back. I was a bit surprised to see groups of young people waiting outside, and realized they all had ordered drinks to go. It took a fairly long time to get our drink, but it was well worth it!
                                Thanks to chowhound we have a new place to visit once in a while!

                                1. re: suvro
                                  ipsedixit RE: suvro May 2, 2011 08:08 PM

                                  I've maintained that New Chong Qing probably has the best kung pao in the SGV.

              2. re: webb
                Mr. Roboto RE: webb Apr 22, 2011 06:29 PM

                I think I've seen it written as 重慶辣子雞 (Chóngqìng làzǐ jī) on menus. Maybe the OP can print the characters and show them at a Sichuan restaurant. Just a thought.

                1. re: webb
                  cant talk...eating RE: webb Apr 22, 2011 07:05 PM

                  Just to add another data point, I posted recently on the version, surprisingly good, at Chans Paris N in Arcadia. I think it's called "spicy chicken chunks". Love it. Haven't seen it west of the 710 though, so better go on a weekend.

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                  Chans Paris N
                  713 W Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA 91007

                2. s
                  sushigirlie RE: sparkyk Apr 22, 2011 09:56 PM

                  I've had good renditions at Chung King on Garfield.

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                  Chung King Restaurant
                  206 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sushigirlie
                    echoparkdirt RE: sushigirlie Apr 23, 2011 01:46 AM

                    That's the best bet.

                  2. s
                    sparkyk RE: sparkyk Apr 26, 2011 09:19 AM

                    Hi all. Thanks so much for all the feedback!

                    Yesterday a friend and I ended up going to Chung King - it's the only thing we ordered (I think it was the #9) - and it was FANTASTIC! The fried chicken chunks were really crunchy and moist. Best of all, the heat was on point. After a few bites, I got that wonderful numbing of the lips and more heat from eating the peppers themselves. Loved the chili oil-soaked green onion bits. YUM!

                    Sorry for the bad photo, was too excited to start eating. Thanks again for the rec! Highly recommend for this one dish.

                    -----
                    Chung King Restaurant
                    206 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                     
                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sparkyk
                      echoparkdirt RE: sparkyk Apr 26, 2011 11:22 AM

                      try the dish at chung king in san gabriel too -- the restaurant is usually considered superior to the garfield one, and it would be interesting to do a comparison between the two signature dishes

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                      Chung King Restaurant
                      1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                    2. j
                      JThur01 RE: sparkyk Apr 29, 2011 12:28 PM

                      This is a dish I use as my standard for Sichuan places. I've liked it everywhere I've had it, but thought NCQ's was a bit salty. My favorite was at the since shuttered Shu Feng Yuan (Shu Feng Garden) in San Gabriel. Shu Feng's Rowland Heights location is still open though.

                      Yunchuan Garden may be a Yunnan style restaurant, but has many items from neighboring Sichuan as well. Haven't had the cubed chicken there yet though. Nor have I had it yet at Lucky Noodle King, but have heard good things about their version.

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                      Lucky Noodle King
                      534 E Valley Blvd #10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                      Shu Feng
                      18459 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JThur01
                        s
                        sparkyk RE: JThur01 Apr 29, 2011 02:29 PM

                        Good to know! Have put Lucky Noodle King and the OTHER Chung King (didn't realize we hadn't gone to the "main" one!) on my list of places to check out. Good thing this dish is addictively spicy.

                        -----
                        Chung King Restaurant
                        1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                        Lucky Noodle King
                        534 E Valley Blvd #10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                      2. echoparkdirt RE: sparkyk Dec 29, 2011 10:31 AM

                        i just got this dish at Taste of Chongqing and they didn't put any szechuan peppercorns in! They did before! Do you think i was whited? Or do they just change the dish randomly?

                        No szechuan peppercorns the last time I ordered this dish at Lucky Noodle as well..

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: echoparkdirt
                          Ciao Bob RE: echoparkdirt Dec 29, 2011 11:05 AM

                          I had it on XMas day and it had plenty of numb-spicy/Ma La.

                          1. re: Ciao Bob
                            Ciao Bob RE: Ciao Bob Dec 29, 2011 12:56 PM

                            And I am white!

                            1. re: Ciao Bob
                              raytamsgv RE: Ciao Bob Dec 29, 2011 02:23 PM

                              I believe the proper term is "melanin-challenged." :-)

                            2. re: Ciao Bob
                              Ciao Bob RE: Ciao Bob Dec 29, 2011 01:01 PM

                              However, I must tell you, I said "Ma La" (many times) when ordering appropriate dishes (as I always do in Sichuan places here and abroad) to prevent my skin pigment (or lack thereof) from influencing the meal.

                              1. re: Ciao Bob
                                echoparkdirt RE: Ciao Bob Dec 29, 2011 04:55 PM

                                Hmm. I never have to say ma la at chung king! I will say it next time.

                                1. re: Ciao Bob
                                  echoparkdirt RE: Ciao Bob Jan 1, 2012 10:24 AM

                                  I'm going today and must have my Szechuan peppercorns! I will say magic words and report back.

                                  1. re: echoparkdirt
                                    echoparkdirt RE: echoparkdirt Jan 1, 2012 02:40 PM

                                    Spectacular. The dish is known as "fried minced chicken" and is on the first page of the menu. Order it "ma la"

                                    The lamb with cumin was wonderful. The dumplings were called "exactly how they are in china" by a woman who lived there. The baked fried fish, which everyone was talking about, wasn't beloved -- not very interesting, not crispy. Ma pa tofu was a hit.

                              2. re: echoparkdirt
                                ipsedixit RE: echoparkdirt Dec 29, 2011 11:40 AM

                                "Do you think i was whited"
                                _______________________________

                                What a lovely thought.

                                That's going to be my new phrase for 2012. "I got Chinesed!"

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  Peripatetic RE: ipsedixit Jan 2, 2012 12:56 AM

                                  Etymology (or at least a piece in the etymological puzzle):
                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5576...

                                  Further popularized by this article by Dave (Ubergeek) Lieberman:
                                  http://blogs.ocweekly.com/stickaforki...

                                  1. re: Peripatetic
                                    j
                                    JThur01 RE: Peripatetic Jan 2, 2012 09:14 AM

                                    Despite Dave's great article, I was aware of the term well before that, and experienced it a few times. I rarely have been "whited" in regards to toned down food. My brother, on the other hand, has truly been "whited" a couple of times on spiciness. I have had waitresses try to talk me out of a particular dish, sometimes fairly vigorously, but I've always managed to convince them otherwise by deploying #3 on Dave's list.

                                    Interestingly, the only time it truly happened to me was at a Vietnamese place in Little Saigon, I was given the "white" menu.

                              3. b
                                bagdoodle RE: sparkyk Jan 1, 2012 12:36 PM

                                Red Chilli House in Rancho Cucamonga is far from where you want to go, but far and away the best Sicuan-style Chinese food I've ever had. Friends in from China agree, as does everyone else I've ever taken there. Everything's really good and the Red Chilli Chicken Cubes -- the specific dish you asked about -- is spectacular! Try it out. It's worth the drive.

                                Red Chilli House
                                9795 Baseline Rd
                                Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

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