Mouth-tingling, lip-numbing heat is a major theme in Sichuan cuisine, and the menu at Z&Y Restaurant puts it front and center. Red-hot chilies and Sichuan peppercorns work hand-in-hand (a combination called má là), treating your taste buds to an explosion of burn before soothing them with a mild buzz. These vibrant dishes that don’t hold back on flavor – like duck blood with pickled vegetables and vermicelli, griddle-cooked intestine stew, and braised fish head with chili peppers – make this one of the best Sichuan restaurants in the Bay Area. Balance out the intensity and order the fried rice with black truffle and a few greens, like stir-fried Napa cabbage or dry-sautéed string beans. You’ll also want to bring a group of spice-loving friends to catch up over dinner at this laid-back spot – the round tables with lazy Susans are great for family-style dining.
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