- Mission Chinese Food
154 Orchard St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-529-8800
All sorts of things go into Danny Bowien’s signature “Thrice Cooked Bacon” ($12.50) besides bacon. Garlic, strings of tofu skin, and slivers of vividly green bitter melon provide an authentic back note of sourness and crunch. Sugar, fermented black beans, and Sichuan peppercorns combine to numb the tongue in a flavorful, zombielike way. Chewy, compulsively edible disks of Shanghainese rice cake cleverly mimic the texture of the bacon, and sprigs of fresh coriander clear the nose. But the key to this fiercely spicy, fiendishly addictive, ingeniously refined dish is the pork, which is smoked, then blanched, then sizzled together with this supporting cast and enough Sichuan spice to blow the doors off a small truck. If you survive the first two or three bites, we guarantee you’ll see bacon in a whole new way.