The surroundings are bare enough to qualify as purgatory, but for lovers of spicy Sichuan fare, this humble newcomer to downtown San Mateo is worthy of ascension into the astral plane. In an area with plenty of Sichuan dining options, the mostly Chinese-speaking crowd demands that the flavors are authentic and on point. As is typical, most dishes here revolve around the interplay of tingling peppercorns, mouth-scorching dried chilies, and luscious chili oil, from the delicate pork wontons topped with crushed peanuts and scallions to the silky fish fillets and firm tofu swimming in a delectable bright-red chili oil bath. Calm your palate with bites of garlicky sautéed water spinach. Then dive in for another chopstick-full of the spicy, tangy chili pork.
- MICHELIN guide inspectors