A strong new contender in Plano’s growing Chinese food scene, Hunan Bistro packs in customers looking for rustic specialties from its namesake province. Garlic cloves remain whole in stir fries, chopped-up chile peppers pile high, and some form of braised pork is on nearly every table. Whole croaker fish get fried without batter until their skins, and bones, are nicely crunchy.
Top pick: The smooth cross-sections of pig ears doused in chili oil are a great appetizer, and “dry pots” featuring proteins like bullfrog are fun to share among a larger table. Don’t miss the quick-fried green beans.
The downside: Maybe study the menu in advance, because it’s a 42-page monster. Also, the scallion pancakes might just be Dallas’ worst.
Fun fact: Hunan Bistro is nextdoor to the DFW Reptarium. One-stop shopping?