Year of the Takeout: Day 27

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Sichuan-Style Bean Curd from Pearls Chinese Restaurant (796 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-749-0300)

The $7.95 pick at Pearls satisfies, but what really deserves props: the tofu prep.

As do a couple of other eateries sampled in Year of the Takeout -- restaurants that both fit the exact Cantonese fast-food cutout and ones that slightly deviate -- Pearls dusts the cubes with starch before pan-frying. This method gives the bean curd a meatier, chewier oomph, and tends to feel more filling than the slimier variety.



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