Sunday, September 1, 2013
I was down in Kearny Mesa the other day on business. That usually means a quick stop at Jasmine for dim sum or Jasmine Express for honey glazed pork and barbecued duck take out. People pan the joint but it has always been good for me and I have eaten dim sum all over the continent. Sometimes I will stop for Pho or Korean but I am really very comfortable at Jasmine.
The U-T published a best of San Diego Chinese food discussion by their favored cognoscenti the other day and a few places were consistently mentioned; ChinaMax, Dumpling Inn and Spicy City. I have eaten at ChinaMax and was less then impressed, prefer the immediacy of carts to eating off a menu and the food wasn't that memorable. I have tried to get into the Dumpling Inn but there is always a huge line there and I just can't ever find a table. Sounds wonderful, though.
I decided to try Spicy City. Spicy City is located on the west side of Convoy, behind China Max. Spicy City is a Sichuan province style restaurant, which means that the food is very piquant. I remember when the Hunan and Sichuan craze first hit New York in the early seventies and all our palates officially caught on fire.
I was one of the few occidental faces in the crowded restaurant. I looked at my fellow diners and many of them were eating from large hot steaming bowls of soup. I opened the menu and there was a story of a famous region of China that was known for their broken noodle soup. The menu has a lot of pictures, very helpful when ordering dishes. What the hell, when in Rome, I ordered a bowl with pork.
There is a good reason they call it Spicy City. I can still feel the singe on my upper palette. I watched as the Chinese couple next to me casually ate the extremely hot peppers with their chop sticks. I was starting to sweat. Great place but definitely hard core. I decided to order a second dish to sample and then bring home, fried pork cutlets brined in salt and garlic. Excellent and a very large portion to boot.
I forgot how good sichuan can be. I look forward to coming back to this place and sampling its offerings many times in the future. If you like a little heat, I highly recommend the place.