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Fearless Critic restaurant review
DC
Food
Feel
Price
8.6
5.0
$15
Chinese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Sun–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–10:30pm

Features Delivery
Bar Beer
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

www.chinastarfood.com

Fairfax, VA
9600 Main St.
Fairfax, VA
(703) 323-8822
China Star
You’re going to need to bring lots of friends to try all the wonderful Szechuan here…can we come?

Discretely poised in the same shopping center as a Kinko’s and Cinema Arts Theatre is one of the best Szechuan places around. How do we know? Well, it’s got no atmosphere whatsoever, and you know what the rules are regarding authentic, delicious ethnic cuisine.

That is, it takes hard work to navigate around the compulsory, totally underwhelming “Asian-Chinese food menu” to get to more exciting preparations like dried braised fish with chili miso sauce, fish with sour mustard, sautéed pork stomach with peppers, and—our favorite descriptor—“shredded pork with ferny vegetable.”

For best results, bring friends. Lots of friends. And stick to the spicy dishes and the specialties of the house. Get the dishes you have never heard of. Watch what everyone else is eating. Mala pig blood with tofu in hot pot is delicious, with what looks and tastes like blood sausage sliced up within. Lamb served in a sizzling pot is tender and spicy. The Szechuan chili chicken has to be seen to be believed; get it on the bone. Sea bass with pine nuts and crystal shrimp is terrific, as are dried fried green beans. The Szechuan scallion fried fish goes well with the chicken with leeks. And don’t forget the Lion’s Head in hot pot. (We told you to bring friends.)

Okay, now that we’ve warned you to not play it safe when ordering, DO watch your spice levels. They have four categories: normal, spicy, very spicy, and numbing. This will blow the roof off your mouth. Even if you go in for that sort of pain, we suggest nothing over “very spicy” if you’re interested in tasting the food. And you should be. It’s really damned good. Did we mention that?

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