Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design

6/07/2011

Hot and spicy in Monterey

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

It's been pretty cold in LA lately and I've found myself craving for something spicy to warm me up. Specifically, Hunan food.

I was only introduced to the regional dish by friends a few weeks ago, but it's definitely an experience worth taking especially if you love spicy food. Me? I just love new experiences.

Hunan food is the kind of food you get when you really want to work for your dinner (or lunch). Everything they served was filled with red chili or chili oil. After a while, my mouth felt like charcoals slowly burning up. It doesn't hurt really. Our lunchmates said it best when they told me to prepare for some numbness due to the heat after some time eating. I managed to keep some of my feeling intact by ordering a side of yogurt.

Why would anyone want voluntarily have their mouths numbed by so much flavor? For the flavor, of course. Even though everything was soaked in spiciness, I could still make out a lot of the meaty flavor. After a few weeks, I found myself thinking back to that almost painful but oh-so-good taste.

This is the sign out front, so you won't miss it.

The appetizers are laid out at the front canteen-style. You sit at your table, then get up when you want some. I highly recommend the cucumber with chili. It's cool and hot on the tongue at the same time. Let's call it a warm-up to the really spicy stuff later on.

I believe this is the lamb with cumin. It's really good, but after a while all the dishes look the same covered in chili.

This was the great climax to the mountain of spice, boiled beef with chili sauce. This is the stuff savory dreams are made of.

The best thing about spicy dishes? They keep for a long, long time in the refrigerator. I got to take some of the spicy sauce home and mix it in with other meats for another round of really hot meals, if you know what I mean.

301 N Garfield Ave, Ste D102
Monterey Park, CA
Phone: (626) 571-8387

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