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Hip Hot Is Better Than an Average “Baller” Sichuan Restaurant, Says Jonathan Gold

Even though it may seem “out of your league”

Crab at Hip Hot

This week, Jonathan Gold heads to Monterey Park to review Hip Hot, a Sichuan seafood restaurant that comes by way of Chengdu-born chef Tiantian Qiu. The restaurant in the Atlantic Times Square complex “may seem pretty much out of your league” thanks to $250 king crabs and smoking dispensers of beer that cover the tables.

However, this “baller hot-pot restaurant” offers some standout seafood dishes, albeit the fact that “Sichuan, a land-locked province, has no seafood tradition.” J. Gold praises the Dungeness crab “stir-fried with ungodly amounts of chiles and Sichuan peppercorn,” marinated crab that “more like Korean ganjang-gejang than it does like anything I’ve ever encountered at a Sichuan restaurant,” and water boiled fish:

The water-boiled fish were soft and well-cooked in their massive vessel of broth, bean sprouts and chiles – you drag the fillets out through the inch of red oil floating at the top of the tureen, which flavors them; you’re not meant to drink the broth as soup. [LAT]

The Times critic also recommends the green bean jelly, scallops, and chicken wing dry pot.