If you have never had Sichuan, you cannot fathom the intoxications that await you. The chile oils and the numby and stingy peppercorns are arousing beyond compare, and trying to describe their effects is like trying to explain common sense to a member of the Tea Party.
This weekend, a friend and his lovely wife visited New York, and I was honored to have the opportunity to introduce them to the intoxications of Sichuan food. It was an evening full of delight and supple wantonness.
We ventured to Cafe China, which is one of the finest establishments I know of. Since their very positive New York Times review, the place has been quite busy, as it deserves to be. Still, selfishly, I can't help but think fondly of the days when it was a bit more quiet and relaxed.
We were able to sample some classic Sichuan dishes, and my friends were simply amazed as the delights unfolded. "This is so intoxicating," they screamed.
Eggplant in garlic sauce was savory and addictive; lamb in cumin was rich and earthy, and I wanted to bath in its flavors; fish in red hot soup was as alluring as the Queen of Sheba. All in all, a night to remember.
Somewhere in the 30s, New York