We at ELV love eating Asian. And we really love the hot, spicy, mind-numbing, tear-duct-blowing, sweat-flowing cuisines of Hunan, Yunnan, and Szechuan.
For the past two years, Dong Ting Spring and Yunnan Garden have held sway over our taste buds. Before they arrived, we were regulars at Emperor’s Szechuan atop the old Chinatown Mall.
But these days our ardor has shifted to this little joint, underneath a shitty sign, tucked behind Pho Saigon #8 on Spring Mountain Road, where a dish of crispy intestines, accompanied by some cold cucumber with garlic, edamame bean salad, green peppers in a “special sauce,” and a mango shaved ice, recently set our staff back only thirty-five samolians (or “simoleons” according to Marcella Ruth Schroader Curtas – D.O.B. 8-10-24 – The Official Mother Of ELV).
Those (small) intestines are deep-fried, then get a quick toss with some other ingredients — cucumbers and a mountain of dried peppers — and are first crunchy, then squishy to the bite. They come to the table imbued with a deep, satisfying, animal-richness (but, we might add, with none of the funkiness).
We’re not quite sure what the point is of the tasteless panko crumbs on top, but they don’t detract from the awfully addictive quality of this offal.
Other worthwhile dishes tried include the shredded pork with pickled pepper, and the Szechuan-style sliced lamb. We haven’t gotten the guts (yet) to tuck into the pork blood with bean sprout in hot sauce, but give us time.
Another thing we like about these southwestern Chinese restaurants is there’s none of that: “How would you like your hotness on a 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 scale?” namby pamby stuff. They cook it and you eat it the way the homeboys do.
So man up! And take the plunge….into some chicken gizzards with pickled peppers. And when your mouth is confused and suffering from the pain and numbness from all those chilies and Szechuan peppercorns, there’s no better antidote than a giant mango shaved ice.
J & J SZECHUAN CUISINE
5700 Spring Mountain Rd. #A-B
Las Vegas, NV 89146