Mala Sichuan Bistro
9348 Bellaire Blvd. [map]
L & D 7 days.

It’s bustling on a Wednesday night in this bare-bones space (save for a wall of colorful plates arranged in dragon curves), where the friendly proprietors dish up Sichuan specialties with funny names and varying degrees of heat. We raved over the Funky Stick Chicken, shredded dark meat tossed in a red chile vinaigrette, and the Garlic Bacon, slices of chilled cucumber and bacon rolled together, drizzled with a garlicky sauce, and garnished with scallions. We warmed up with thin-sliced black-pepper beef with serrano peppers and tempura-fried shell-on shrimp sautéed with onions and more peppers. (11/14)

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