Dish no. 38: Dan dan noodles at Han Dynasty (90 Third Avenue, 212-390-8685)
There are dozens of places in town to get your dan dan noodle fix, but if you’re a spicy food fiend, you’ll want to choose your venue wisely — many spots tone down the heat so that you get a nest of limpid noodles soaked in pork-laden oil. We’re never let down by the version at Han Dynasty, though, which is consistently spicy enough to warrant a second beer. Here, the pasta gets a toss table side, so that it’s coated in chile and tongue-tickling Szechuan peppercorn. Bits of pig are sown throughout; the dish is hearty enough to enjoy as a main, solo, but we prefer to share it as an appetizer. That way we can indulge in a spicy hot pot, too.
In advance of our 2014 Best of NYC issue, we’re traipsing through the boroughs and divulging our favorite dishes of the year. They’re presented here as a countdown, but we’re listing them in no particular order. Consider this a guide to what’s good to eat in this town right this very second.
More:100 Favorite Dishes