Sun, noon-10pm; Mon and Wed-Sat, 11am-10:30pm; Tue, closed
R at 86th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
96th St. to 65th St., 13th Ave. to Third Ave.
Incongruously located behind Bay Ridge’s Century 21, Grand Sichuan House serves up trademark peppercorns and chiles in a compact interior with bold-patterned lamp shades and red-and-gold paper lanterns. There’s no reason to delve into the American-Chinese classics that dominate the take-out menu; instead, look to the picture menu for authenticity. Start with tongue-searing dan dan noodles, a cold appetizer that looks like an innocent pile of thick wheat noodles until the pool of crimson chile oil at the bottom of the small bowl gets mixed in. The spicy yet familiar pasta is the perfect gateway to funkier items like tongue, tripe, and jellyfish prepared in the same style. Slices of fresh pork, essentially uncured bacon, are stir-fried with garlic chives until the oniony greens turn sweet and an irresistible smokiness permeates the simple dish. Chong Qing chicken looks like nothing more than a plate of glossy dried chiles, the crispy sugar cube-sized chunks of meat are buried inside waiting to be plucked out with chopsticks. Despite the intimating quantity of red hot pods, the overall effect isn’t painfully fiery; it’s the barely perceptible Sichuan peppercorns that pack a tingly wallop.Recommended Dishes
Dan dan noodle, $4.25; fresh sliced pork with garlic chives, $9.95; dry sautéed string bean with minced pork, $9.25; chong qing spicy chicken, $12.95