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Kathy Tran

Little Sichuan Cuisine

Kathy Tran
There’s something about devouring a whole fish — truly devouring it, leaving nothing but bones — that feels victorious, like climbing a mountain peak or getting through downtown on Interstate 35 without hitting traffic. That’s especially the case at Plano’s Little Sichuan, where the whole tilapia comes buried in an avalanche of potatoes, cauliflower, lotus root, hot peppers and numbing peppercorns. It’s a spectacular centerpiece that requires group effort. Underneath all those vegetables, the tilapia is cooked perfectly fork-tender and served with the escalating heat of chili oil, which enters into partnership with the fish’s natural sweetness. Whole fish is a must, but otherwise ordering at Little Sichuan can be intimidating. There are three menus. First and easiest is the standard menu, divided neatly into appetizers, noodles, beef, pork and other expected categories. In here, Americanized Chinese dishes like General Tso’s chicken mingle with Sichuan staples like tea-smoked duck, beef and Napa cabbage in spicy chili sauce, ma po tofu and konjac with pickled cabbage.

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