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Skewers of shrimp and meats at Malubianbian.
Skewers of shrimp and meats at Malubianbian.
Wonho Frank Lee

16 Tongue-Numbing Sichuan Restaurants to Try in Los Angeles

Mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, bo bo chicken, and more

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Skewers of shrimp and meats at Malubianbian.
| Wonho Frank Lee

For more than a decade, Sichuan food has taken Los Angeles by storm to become one of the most popular regional Chinese cuisines in the city. Prior to Sichuan’s rise, LA’s Chinese food scene was dominated by Cantonese and Taiwanese establishments. The uptick in mainland Chinese immigration these past two decades, along with substantial financial investments from abroad, has led to an explosion of Sichuan restaurants in the Southland. The cuisine’s bold flavors, coupled with its liberal use of garlic, chile peppers, and tingling “mala” numbing spice, has made it a craveable experience that people cannot get enough of. Here now are 16 sensational Sichuan restaurants to try in LA.

A number of LA restaurants have resumed outdoor dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Los Angeles Public Health website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Szechuan Place

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9250 Reseda Blvd
Northridge, CA 91324
(818) 280-5355
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Szechuan Place takes the cake as the best Sichuan restaurant in the San Fernando Valley. However, it will require some convincing for the staff to take you seriously about how spicy you want your dishes. I find that telling them you eat Sichuan regularly in the San Gabriel Valley tends to do the trick.  

The bobo chicken is a Sichuan dish that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. It consists of cold slices of various chicken parts placed on skewers and dunked in a numbing and spicy chile broth. The mapo tofu is silky and topped with chile and mala numbing spices. The fried string beans and cumin lamb dishes also hit the spot. Also worth mentioning is that Szechuan Place’s dan dan noodles are dry, but tend to be more soupy than those at other restaurants. Anyone looking for more than the run-of-the-mill Sichuan dishes can try the mao xue wang, made of duck blood curd, tripe, chicken gizzard, and other organ parts simmered in peppercorn and red chile soup. 

2. HaiDiLao Hotpot

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400 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 445-7232
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Perhaps the most famous traditional hot pot chain from China is Hai Di Lao. Although it has many different broths to choose from, like vegetarian mushroom or tomato, the most popular flavor is its signature Sichuan-style broth. The broth is made by simmering beef tallow, green Sichuan pepper, red Sichuan pepper, and a variety of other peppers for more than four hours. The dipping sauce suggested for the Sichuan broth is the crushed garlic and sesame oil dip.

Ordering at Hai Di Lao, which is known for its service, is a la carte and done all through a tablet. Diners are given storage for their handbags, aprons for protecting their clothes, hair ties to pull their hair back, and plastic bags for any electronics. Although the U.S. outposts, unlike their Chinese equivalents, don’t go as far as giving their customers free manicures as they wait, the chain has kept its noodle dance for those who order the fresh noodles, so it’s always a dinner and a show. 

3. Sichuan KungFu Fish

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400 S Baldwin Ave #2360
Arcadia, CA 91007
(626) 461-5300
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Sichuan KungFu Fish specializes in Sichuan-style pan-roasted fish. The spiciest Chinese foods typically come from two regions: Sichuan and Hunan. Sichuan spice is referred to as mala, or numbing spice, and although it is spicy, it is better known for the tingly sensation that Sichuan peppercorns produce when eaten. 

The fish at Sichuan KungFu Fish is served in big metal fish-shaped hot pot containers filled with a bright red chile-infused broth. Diners choose between swai, cod, pollock fillet, and a handful of other proteins. Then, they pick their choice of spicy soup base and extra add-ons like quail eggs, spicy sour noodles, and udon. The dish arrives looking like a whole fish swimming in a pool of red chiles. 

Pan-roasted black cod at Sichuan Kungfu Fish
Sichuan KungFu Fish
Wonho Frank Lee

4. Delicious Chengdu

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9679 Las Tunas Dr
Temple City, CA 91780
(626) 286-9996
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Delicious Chengdu is an underrated spot that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It doesn’t have the fancy marketing or accolades of some other big-name Sichuan restaurants, but the food is authentic and solid. 

The tiny, family-run restaurant has a respectable lineup of Sichuan specialty dishes, like spicy chile oil wontons, “couple’s beef,” kung pao chicken, mung bean noodles, mapo tofu, water-boiled fish, and chile oil rabbit. The dan dan noodles are a quintessential Sichuan noodle dish made with preserved vegetables, mustard stems, chile oil, Sichuan peppercorns, red chile flakes, ground pork, and scallions topped with peanuts, made dry-style and packing a punch. 

5. Chong Qing Special Noodles

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708 E Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 374-1849
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Chong Qing Special Noodles is a no-frills, mom-and-pop shop that is sure to hit the spot for spice lovers. The steamed cold chicken, kou shui ji, which literally translates to saliva chicken with hot sauce, is a poached cold chicken marinated in chile oil that will make your tastebuds scream for water and numb your tongue at the same time. The spicy pork ear appetizer has a similar effect. 

The namesake Chong Qing handmade noodles are rolled fresh and doused in chile oil, and the biang biang noodles are covered in chile flakes, vinegar, and tossed in a spicy hot sauce. Each noodle dish can be adjusted to one’s preferred spice level. 

6. Xiang La Hui

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621 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 703-4165

Xiang La Hui has an extensive menu of authentic and refined Sichuan dishes. There are a handful of dishes that every Sichuan restaurant should be able to do well, and laziji is one of them. Also known as Chongqing chicken, it’s a famous Sichuan fried chicken stir-fry dish that is covered entirely in chile peppers, spicy bean paste, Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, and garlic. Xiang La Hui’s renditions of popular dishes, like mapo tofu, toothpick lamb, kung fu boiled fish, serrano pepper beef, and frog with chile and serrano, are also highly coveted. 

A plate of fried chicken and spicy Sichuan chiles at Xiang La Hui
Xiang La Hui
Wonho Frank Lee

7. Best Noodle House

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9329 Valley Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 782-7432
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The best dishes at Rosemead’s Best Noodle House aren’t even noodle-related. Try the cold skin-on chicken, which is thoroughly dressed in a mouth-numbing mala sauce with crushed peanuts and scallions. The pig ears in chile oil cold appetizer is also fantastic.

8. Hibiscus Tree

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534 Valley Blvd ste 4-5
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 872-0140
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Maocai is a Sichuan specialty that hails from Chengdu in Sichuan province. It is a stew-like dish made of meat and/or fish and a variety of vegetables, and is topped with a soup stock made with mala sauce and chile oil.

Hibiscus Tree allows diners to order from a number of set combinations or build their own version of the dish. Some of the ingredients that can be used in maocai include beef, tofu, beef balls, pork belly, sausage, and fish. For those who enjoy unusual items in their maocai, there’s also duck blood, tripe, pork brain, and even bullfrog. 

Diners can adjust their spice levels according to their preference — those who favor less spicy flavors might opt for the tomato soup base. When the food is served, the server opens a can of bright red Sichuan chile oil and pours it atop the stew. 

Hibiscus Tree
Hibiscus Tree
[Official Photo]

9. Da Long Yi

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250 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

Da Long Yi is a Sichuan hot pot chain from the city of Chengdu that specializes in a three broth hot pot experience that includes a lighter, non-spicy mushroom broth, a non-spicy tomato broth, and its signature red hot broth. The signature broth is made with dozens of herbs, chile peppers, and peppercorns that have been sourced from different Chinese provinces and fried in beef tallow. 

In the Before Times, diners began each meal by making their own sauce from the ingredients on hand, including herbs, chiles, and garlic. Da Long Yi’s signature sesame oil is poured into each customer’s creation, a tradition specific to Sichuan-style hot pot. 

10. Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot

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46 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 515-6888

Xiao Long Kan is one of the most famous hot pot chains in China. The brand hails from Chengdu, the unofficial hot pot capital of China, and boasts more than 1,000 outlets across the globe. Its hot pot broth is said to be made of 90 ingredients, including dozens of herbs, chile peppers, and peppercorns that have been steeped in a fatty beef-tallow base.

Diners can choose between mild, medium, or extreme spice levels, but even the restaurant’s mild broth is considered too spicy by those unaccustomed to searing heat. Xiao Long Kan is known for its “butter,” which is made of slabs of solidified beef tallow marinated with spicy and numbing spices. The slab of butter dissolves, giving the stock its full flavor. 

Xiao Long Kan excels at creating an iconic high-end classical Chinese ambience, combining unique menu items like crystal beef (brisket and egg) and varying spice levels with live guzheng musical performances. However, due to COVID-19, the expensive and over-the-top atmosphere and live performances are no longer offered. 

Tripe cooked in a communal hot pot.
Xiaolongkan Hot Pot
[Official Photo]

11. Chengdu Taste

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828 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 588-2284

Chengdu Taste is arguably the most popular Sichuan restaurant in Los Angeles and single-handedly popularized cumin toothpick lamb. Since opening in Alhambra in 2013, chef Tony Xu has been nominated for a James Beard Award and has since expanded Chengdu Taste all over the nation. Xu also owns the chain of Mian restaurants, which specialize in Sichuan-style noodles. The aforementioned cumin toothpick lamb is a must-order, along with the boiled fish with green pepper sauce and mung bean jelly noodles.

12. Szechuan Impression

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1900 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 283-4622
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Szechuan Impression has a menu full of authentic Sichuan dishes, like mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, bo bo chicken, water-boiled fish, and even Hongxing diced rabbit, but the star dish is its tea-smoked pork ribs. In Sichuan, pork ribs are traditionally smoked with cypress boughs, but at Sichuan Impression, the pork ribs are marinated with green tea. The ribs are also marinated with dry chiles, scallion, and minced peanuts before being smoked. The end result is a rack of barbecue ribs whose meat falls off the bone. 

13. Hip Hot

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500 N Atlantic Blvd #149
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 782-7711

Hip Hot in Monterey Park specializes in melding seafood from Cantonese cuisine with Sichuan flavors. Although there are some traditional dishes on the menu, like mapo tofu and dry pots, the most popular dishes all involve seafood, including the spicy crab pot, Dungeness crab, and squid with pickled chiles. The fresh Dungeness crab is stir-fried with loads of red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns and tossed with rice cakes, potatoes, and vegetables. Chef Tiantian Qiu is willing to make her dishes even spicier upon request.

14. Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant 眉州东坡

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10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 788-0120
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With locations in Irvine, Arcadia, Century City, and Universal City Walk, Meizhou Dongpo is a restaurant empire in China. In California, however, the restaurant is mostly known as a higher-end Chinese restaurant that is almost exclusively located in big shopping malls or tourist locations. Because its signature Beijing-style roast duck is so good (Meizhou Dongpo was chosen as the official food sponsor for the 2008 China Olympic Games), people tend to forget that the former mom-and-pop shop is actually a Sichuan restaurant. Meizhou Dongpo’s braised pork belly dong po rou, dan dan noodles, and bang bang poached chicken are solid takes on the traditional dishes. 

15. MaLuBianBian Hot Pot

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18194 Colima Rd A
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 820-9206

Malubianbian, which hails from Chengdu, serves skewer-style hot pot. The restaurant has a cult following and over 1,000 stores around the world. MLBB — as it’s often abbreviated — only serves its signature soup base, which contains 19 herbs and is topped with an additional dose of chile, onions, and sesame oil. Even its mild variety is considered spicy for the average person not from Chengdu. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the spicy broth and equally spicy chile dipping sauce. 

MLBB makes its Sichuan-style dipping sauce using a dried powder mix of minced chile and chopped peanuts. The server then adds a spoonful of the hot pot broth to the minced chile and peanuts to create the sauce.

Spread of ingredients and skewers at Malubianbian in Rowland Heights.
Spread of ingredients and skewers at Malubianbian in Rowland Heights.
Wonho Frank Lee

16. Mian

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11632 South St Ste 104
Artesia, CA 90701
(562) 860-6880

Miàn, the Chengdu Taste offshoot, specializes in Chongqing-style noodles like zhajiangmian — hand-pulled wheat noodles tossed in fermented bean sauce, ground pork, and vegetables. Other specialities include its Huaxing noodles with fried egg in tomato broth, Chengdu hot-and-sour noodles, and beef pickle noodles in green Sichuan pepper soup. All guests are treated to iced mung bean tea.

Miàn’s newest location, in Artesia, is an upscale, more refined version of the other Miàn restaurants. It serves regular menu items in addition to modern spins on traditional Sichuan dishes like Chengdu beef jerky, thousand-year-old egg with torched chile sauce, crispy-skin chicken, and osmanthus rice-wine sesame balls. Unlike its sister locations, this upscale Miàn serves alcohol, including a mung-bean horchata cocktail — a soju-based cocktail that pays homage to the restaurant’s mung bean tea. Look for a fourth location of Miàn in West LA.

Noodles and chaoshou at Mian
Mian
Matthew Kang

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1. Szechuan Place

9250 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

Szechuan Place takes the cake as the best Sichuan restaurant in the San Fernando Valley. However, it will require some convincing for the staff to take you seriously about how spicy you want your dishes. I find that telling them you eat Sichuan regularly in the San Gabriel Valley tends to do the trick.  

The bobo chicken is a Sichuan dish that dates back to the Qing Dynasty. It consists of cold slices of various chicken parts placed on skewers and dunked in a numbing and spicy chile broth. The mapo tofu is silky and topped with chile and mala numbing spices. The fried string beans and cumin lamb dishes also hit the spot. Also worth mentioning is that Szechuan Place’s dan dan noodles are dry, but tend to be more soupy than those at other restaurants. Anyone looking for more than the run-of-the-mill Sichuan dishes can try the mao xue wang, made of duck blood curd, tripe, chicken gizzard, and other organ parts simmered in peppercorn and red chile soup. 

9250 Reseda Blvd
Northridge, CA 91324

2. HaiDiLao Hotpot

400 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

Perhaps the most famous traditional hot pot chain from China is Hai Di Lao. Although it has many different broths to choose from, like vegetarian mushroom or tomato, the most popular flavor is its signature Sichuan-style broth. The broth is made by simmering beef tallow, green Sichuan pepper, red Sichuan pepper, and a variety of other peppers for more than four hours. The dipping sauce suggested for the Sichuan broth is the crushed garlic and sesame oil dip.

Ordering at Hai Di Lao, which is known for its service, is a la carte and done all through a tablet. Diners are given storage for their handbags, aprons for protecting their clothes, hair ties to pull their hair back, and plastic bags for any electronics. Although the U.S. outposts, unlike their Chinese equivalents, don’t go as far as giving their customers free manicures as they wait, the chain has kept its noodle dance for those who order the fresh noodles, so it’s always a dinner and a show. 

400 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007

3. Sichuan KungFu Fish

400 S Baldwin Ave #2360, Arcadia, CA 91007
Pan-roasted black cod at Sichuan Kungfu Fish
Sichuan KungFu Fish
Wonho Frank Lee

Sichuan KungFu Fish specializes in Sichuan-style pan-roasted fish. The spiciest Chinese foods typically come from two regions: Sichuan and Hunan. Sichuan spice is referred to as mala, or numbing spice, and although it is spicy, it is better known for the tingly sensation that Sichuan peppercorns produce when eaten. 

The fish at Sichuan KungFu Fish is served in big metal fish-shaped hot pot containers filled with a bright red chile-infused broth. Diners choose between swai, cod, pollock fillet, and a handful of other proteins. Then, they pick their choice of spicy soup base and extra add-ons like quail eggs, spicy sour noodles, and udon. The dish arrives looking like a whole fish swimming in a pool of red chiles. 

400 S Baldwin Ave #2360
Arcadia, CA 91007

4. Delicious Chengdu

9679 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780

Delicious Chengdu is an underrated spot that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It doesn’t have the fancy marketing or accolades of some other big-name Sichuan restaurants, but the food is authentic and solid. 

The tiny, family-run restaurant has a respectable lineup of Sichuan specialty dishes, like spicy chile oil wontons, “couple’s beef,” kung pao chicken, mung bean noodles, mapo tofu, water-boiled fish, and chile oil rabbit. The dan dan noodles are a quintessential Sichuan noodle dish made with preserved vegetables, mustard stems, chile oil, Sichuan peppercorns, red chile flakes, ground pork, and scallions topped with peanuts, made dry-style and packing a punch. 

9679 Las Tunas Dr
Temple City, CA 91780

5. Chong Qing Special Noodles

708 E Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Chong Qing Special Noodles is a no-frills, mom-and-pop shop that is sure to hit the spot for spice lovers. The steamed cold chicken, kou shui ji, which literally translates to saliva chicken with hot sauce, is a poached cold chicken marinated in chile oil that will make your tastebuds scream for water and numb your tongue at the same time. The spicy pork ear appetizer has a similar effect. 

The namesake Chong Qing handmade noodles are rolled fresh and doused in chile oil, and the biang biang noodles are covered in chile flakes, vinegar, and tossed in a spicy hot sauce. Each noodle dish can be adjusted to one’s preferred spice level. 

708 E Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776

6. Xiang La Hui

621 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801
A plate of fried chicken and spicy Sichuan chiles at Xiang La Hui
Xiang La Hui
Wonho Frank Lee

Xiang La Hui has an extensive menu of authentic and refined Sichuan dishes. There are a handful of dishes that every Sichuan restaurant should be able to do well, and laziji is one of them. Also known as Chongqing chicken, it’s a famous Sichuan fried chicken stir-fry dish that is covered entirely in chile peppers, spicy bean paste, Sichuan peppercorns, ginger, and garlic. Xiang La Hui’s renditions of popular dishes, like mapo tofu, toothpick lamb, kung fu boiled fish, serrano pepper beef, and frog with chile and serrano, are also highly coveted. 

621 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801

7. Best Noodle House

9329 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

The best dishes at Rosemead’s Best Noodle House aren’t even noodle-related. Try the cold skin-on chicken, which is thoroughly dressed in a mouth-numbing mala sauce with crushed peanuts and scallions. The pig ears in chile oil cold appetizer is also fantastic.

9329 Valley Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770

8. Hibiscus Tree

534 Valley Blvd ste 4-5, San Gabriel, CA 91776
Hibiscus Tree
Hibiscus Tree
[Official Photo]

Maocai is a Sichuan specialty that hails from Chengdu in Sichuan province. It is a stew-like dish made of meat and/or fish and a variety of vegetables, and is topped with a soup stock made with mala sauce and chile oil.

Hibiscus Tree allows diners to order from a number of set combinations or build their own version of the dish. Some of the ingredients that can be used in maocai include beef, tofu, beef balls, pork belly, sausage, and fish. For those who enjoy unusual items in their maocai, there’s also duck blood, tripe, pork brain, and even bullfrog. 

Diners can adjust their spice levels according to their preference — those who favor less spicy flavors might opt for the tomato soup base. When the food is served, the server opens a can of bright red Sichuan chile oil and pours it atop the stew. 

534 Valley Blvd ste 4-5
San Gabriel, CA 91776

9. Da Long Yi

250 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Da Long Yi is a Sichuan hot pot chain from the city of Chengdu that specializes in a three broth hot pot experience that includes a lighter, non-spicy mushroom broth, a non-spicy tomato broth, and its signature red hot broth. The signature broth is made with dozens of herbs, chile peppers, and peppercorns that have been sourced from different Chinese provinces and fried in beef tallow. 

In the Before Times, diners began each meal by making their own sauce from the ingredients on hand, including herbs, chiles, and garlic. Da Long Yi’s signature sesame oil is poured into each customer’s creation, a tradition specific to Sichuan-style hot pot. 

250 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776

10. Xiao Long Kan Hot Pot

46 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801
Tripe cooked in a communal hot pot.
Xiaolongkan Hot Pot
[Official Photo]

Xiao Long Kan is one of the most famous hot pot chains in China. The brand hails from Chengdu, the unofficial hot pot capital of China, and boasts more than 1,000 outlets across the globe. Its hot pot broth is said to be made of 90 ingredients, including dozens of herbs, chile peppers, and peppercorns that have been steeped in a fatty beef-tallow base.

Diners can choose between mild, medium, or extreme spice levels, but even the restaurant’s mild broth is considered too spicy by those unaccustomed to searing heat. Xiao Long Kan is known for its “butter,” which is made of slabs of solidified beef tallow marinated with spicy and numbing spices. The slab of butter dissolves, giving the stock its full flavor. 

Xiao Long Kan excels at creating an iconic high-end classical Chinese ambience, combining unique menu items like crystal beef (brisket and egg) and varying spice levels with live guzheng musical performances. However, due to COVID-19, the expensive and over-the-top atmosphere and live performances are no longer offered. 

46 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801

11. Chengdu Taste

828 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

Chengdu Taste is arguably the most popular Sichuan restaurant in Los Angeles and single-handedly popularized cumin toothpick lamb. Since opening in Alhambra in 2013, chef Tony Xu has been nominated for a James Beard Award and has since expanded Chengdu Taste all over the nation. Xu also owns the chain of Mian restaurants, which specialize in Sichuan-style noodles. The aforementioned cumin toothpick lamb is a must-order, along with the boiled fish with green pepper sauce and mung bean jelly noodles.

828 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803

12. Szechuan Impression

1900 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

Szechuan Impression has a menu full of authentic Sichuan dishes, like mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, bo bo chicken, water-boiled fish, and even Hongxing diced rabbit, but the star dish is its tea-smoked pork ribs. In Sichuan, pork ribs are traditionally smoked with cypress boughs, but at Sichuan Impression, the pork ribs are marinated with green tea. The ribs are also marinated with dry chiles, scallion, and minced peanuts before being smoked. The end result is a rack of barbecue ribs whose meat falls off the bone. 

1900 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803

13. Hip Hot

500 N Atlantic Blvd #149, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Hip Hot in Monterey Park specializes in melding seafood from Cantonese cuisine with Sichuan flavors. Although there are some traditional dishes on the menu, like mapo tofu and dry pots, the most popular dishes all involve seafood, including the spicy crab pot, Dungeness crab, and squid with pickled chiles. The fresh Dungeness crab is stir-fried with loads of red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns and tossed with rice cakes, potatoes, and vegetables. Chef Tiantian Qiu is willing to make her dishes even spicier upon request.

500 N Atlantic Blvd #149
Monterey Park, CA 91754

14. Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant 眉州东坡

10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90067

With locations in Irvine, Arcadia, Century City, and Universal City Walk, Meizhou Dongpo is a restaurant empire in China. In California, however, the restaurant is mostly known as a higher-end Chinese restaurant that is almost exclusively located in big shopping malls or tourist locations. Because its signature Beijing-style roast duck is so good (Meizhou Dongpo was chosen as the official food sponsor for the 2008 China Olympic Games), people tend to forget that the former mom-and-pop shop is actually a Sichuan restaurant. Meizhou Dongpo’s braised pork belly dong po rou, dan dan noodles, and bang bang poached chicken are solid takes on the traditional dishes. 

10250 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90067

15. MaLuBianBian Hot Pot

18194 Colima Rd A, Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Spread of ingredients and skewers at Malubianbian in Rowland Heights.
Spread of ingredients and skewers at Malubianbian in Rowland Heights.
Wonho Frank Lee

Malubianbian, which hails from Chengdu, serves skewer-style hot pot. The restaurant has a cult following and over 1,000 stores around the world. MLBB — as it’s often abbreviated — only serves its signature soup base, which contains 19 herbs and is topped with an additional dose of chile, onions, and sesame oil. Even its mild variety is considered spicy for the average person not from Chengdu. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the spicy broth and equally spicy chile dipping sauce. 

MLBB makes its Sichuan-style dipping sauce using a dried powder mix of minced chile and chopped peanuts. The server then adds a spoonful of the hot pot broth to the minced chile and peanuts to create the sauce.

18194 Colima Rd A
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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16. Mian

11632 South St Ste 104, Artesia, CA 90701
Noodles and chaoshou at Mian
Mian
Matthew Kang

Miàn, the Chengdu Taste offshoot, specializes in Chongqing-style noodles like zhajiangmian — hand-pulled wheat noodles tossed in fermented bean sauce, ground pork, and vegetables. Other specialities include its Huaxing noodles with fried egg in tomato broth, Chengdu hot-and-sour noodles, and beef pickle noodles in green Sichuan pepper soup. All guests are treated to iced mung bean tea.

Miàn’s newest location, in Artesia, is an upscale, more refined version of the other Miàn restaurants. It serves regular menu items in addition to modern spins on traditional Sichuan dishes like Chengdu beef jerky, thousand-year-old egg with torched chile sauce, crispy-skin chicken, and osmanthus rice-wine sesame balls. Unlike its sister locations, this upscale Miàn serves alcohol, including a mung-bean horchata cocktail — a soju-based cocktail that pays homage to the restaurant’s mung bean tea. Look for a fourth location of Miàn in West LA.

11632 South St Ste 104
Artesia, CA 90701

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