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Chinese Food Star Sichuan Impression Debuts Its Fast-Casual Offshoot Fire Belly

The San Gabriel Valley restaurant has remastered its regional Chengdu hits with a new to-go and delivery concept called Fire Belly

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Mapo tofu from Fire Belly in Larchmont.
Mapo tofu from Fire Belly in Larchmont.
[Official Photo]
Cathy Chaplin is a senior editor at Eater LA, a James Beard Award–nominated journalist, and the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles.

Sichuan Impression, one of Los Angeles’s most respected Chinese restaurants specializing in dishes from Chengdu, has opened a fast-casual outlet named Fire Belly this week inside the Hollywood Melrose Food Co. commissary kitchen.

On the menu are dishes riffing on recipes from the flagship, but portioned smaller for individual consumption rather than more traditional family-style dining. According to verbiage provided by Fire Belly’s owners on Yelp, the food also promises “less-greasy nutrition,” though what that actually means is unclear.

For those familiar with the menu at Sichuan Impression, a handful of Fire Belly’s dishes will look familiar, particularly the spicy spareribs, mapo tofu, and cold noodles. New to the concept is braised fish with bamboo shoots, fresh tofu with avocado and roasted pepper, and beef stew served with white rice.

Fire Belly is available for takeout, curbside pick-up, and delivery through Grubhub, Postmates, and UberEats. Since its debut in Alhambra in 2014, Sichuan Impression has expanded to West LA and Tustin.

Fire Belly

615 N. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004