Spicy food in San Mateo
Going to dinner in San Mateo tomorrow night with my friend who likes super spicy food. Any recommendations? Other places she liked was Ler Ros in Hayes Valley and Spices II in the Richmond district.
re: Thomas Nash
even better Little Shanghai on 25th in San Mateo - divey hole in the wall with great food and cheap. Lots of previous threads on this.
Sadly IMHO Little Sichuan has gone badly downhill and was closed last year for a while b/c health code violations. I walked in last week thinking to give it a try but it was so dirty (the rug looked like it hadn't ever been cleaned) and the staff were so uninterested in seating me that I left.
If they like punishingly hot food, consider going a few exits south to Red Hot Chilli Pepper in San Carlos. They have "devil's chicken" and will give you free beer for a week if you finish it. ( I personally don't like food that hot so haven't tried it ). The rest of the food is OK although a bit of an acquired taste: it's the goopy sweet chinese food that was popular in India through the 80's and the clientel is all indians full of nostalgia. It's an authentic perversion of chinese food... if you get what that means, and it's a fun scene (lots of indian families and kids) but it ain't chinese food.
The Prince Of Wales ( now Swingin' Door ) sells the Habenero Burger, which is of similar searing pain heat (on 25th in San Mateo). Make sure your friend gets the World Famous XXX Hot Habenero Burger not the regular kind. It's a real british pub atmosphere with the slight stank of stale beer that will never be removed from the carpet. Also: Fried Wallys.
Also: consider Spicy Empire (25th San Mateo). Melanie wrote a review, I haven't been up there yet.
Little Shanghai doesn't pack the firepower of the real sichuan places, although they're a great place (I wouldn't call them a hole in the wall).
Finally, in downtown San Mateo, consider Little Sheep Hot Pot. The spice at a beijing hot pot place sneaks up on you, but can be fun, especially in groups, if they haven't had spicy hot pot like that.
I had a good meal at Little Sichuan but it was probably 4 years ago.