People like to think of Sichuan as the fieriest cuisine in China, but I’ve got news for you: Hunan is hotter, which is instantly apparent when you eat at Hunan Kitchen. Many dishes come slagged with squishy pickled chilies; others are aflame with dried red or fresh green hot peppers, or both. Recipes even make use of the white pepper beloved of French cooks for its ability to blend colorlessly into a sauce. In white pepper smoked beef ($14.95), jerky coated in egg whites is stir-fried with papery tofu skin and scallions, to which the pepper adds a pungent, perfumey taste. Yes, you can find Sichuan peppercorns, too—but the truth is that the cuisine doesn’t... More >>>