No longer can native Chinese poo-poo at Las Vegas and their lack of good authentic Chinese food. Sichuan food is coming to its own in our humble valley. In just the last year we've seen three great start ups: Yunnan Tasty Garden ( self-serve hot pot), the famous Chengdu Taste (sister store in Alhambra) and Yunnan Cuisine.
The Sichuan food explosion, unfortunately, is not being talked about amongst critics. Which is a shame, because Sichuan food is the most exciting, dangerous, and tantalizing food in the world (maybe only second to Indian). It mixes spicy, bitter, numb, sweet and salty to create a flavor explosion in the mouth. And, sometimes, later on the toilet. :-) Well, no pain, no gain, that's how I see it.
Every wannabe-Jonathan-Gold fluky is going to flock to Chengdu Taste, while one little assuming restaurant is getting no press at all. And that is Yunnan Cuisine; a little mom and pop place off of Sahara, located in a small strip mall hidden behind a Chinese bank. But everyone should be flocking to it, because as Michael K points out in his review, they are doing the best version of Sichuan food in Las Vegas.
Everything I've had here is good. Everything was balanced, perfectly seasoned, and not overpoweringly spicy, but not bland either. Some of my favorites were the STEAMED FISH WITH GREEN PEPPERS, delicate pieces of white fish (Tilapia or catfish?) in a delicate broth and topped with green peppers. The fish was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
I also enjoyed the LAMB POT, served hot pot style, but not immersed in soup as hot pot is. The lamb was tender and flavorful and the spices were just right, not too spicy or numbing. There were a good helping of vegetables underneath the flavorful lamb.
|Spicy Beef Noodle Soup that wasn't spicy|
Their NOODLE DISHES are excellent too and fairly priced. I ordered their SPICY BEEF NOODLE SOUP, but there was a mix-up in the order and it came out zero spicy (I blame it on the gringo bf). However the zero spicy was delicious, with garlic (powder?) being the prominent flavor profile.
Another dish we gobbled up was the CHONGQING NOODLE, a spicy, more-watery version of dan-dan mein. This dish was delicious, with lots of fragrant flavors such as chile, cilantro, mushroom, and chili oil, which complimented the flour noodles nicely.
|Fish Stock Soup|
Lastly we got FISH STOCK SOUP, which was a rather large pot filled with tofu, fish and pickled greens. This was my least favorite dish even though it was very good. The soup base was slightly sour from the mustard greens. The fish was flaky and tender and the broth was great for sipping.
Overall, I really enjoyed this restaurant and look forward to putting it into my rotation of regular places I eat. The prices are more than fair (especially with the groupon) and the decor is comfortable and unassuming. It's a winner all-around!