For our own Robert Sietsema, hearing the name Sweet Yummy House "conjured up gingerbread dwellings deep in the woods made by witches." In reality, the Elmhurst restaurant is one of the city's newest Sichuan restaurants, specializing in "delicious peculiarities resulting from fusion with other cuisines" -- in this case, Taiwanese. Sietsema suggests ordering the Chinese celery and Sichuan-peppercorn-laced black lamb, as well as the salad of garlicky cucumbers in sesame oil. He adds that "those who go for Sichuan peppercorns like a junkie reaching for his dime bag" will get hooked on the cold jelly Chengdu-style -- a bowl of gooey, translucent noodles sheathed in "lip-numbing" spices.
|Sweet Yummy House|
Tejal Rao visits the Flatiron's Hanjan, "a wee, rackety tavern where you can rip hot chicken hearts off a stick and drink, drink, drink." Hooni Kim (who also owns the always-bustling Hell's Kitchen restaurant Danji) has crafted a group-friendly menu of traditional and modern Korean dishes. The structure of the meal is as thoughtful as the food itself: All cold dishes (first smaller plates, then bigger ones) are served before any hot dishes (again, little courses before larger ones) are brought to the table. Rao favors the "fresh-killed" chicken, which is "slaughtered in Brooklyn" before it's "delivered straight to the kitchen, still warm." Dabbed with a spicy and addictive house-made ssamjang (a traditional Korean condiment), the bird should be picked at between gulps of makgeolli, a gently carbonated "alcoholic brew" of yeast and rice. If you visit after 10 o'clock, order the 12-hour ramyun -- a "muscular soup" -- and slurp until closing time. More »