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Flimsy styrofoam plates come overflowing with chili oil, and the old man behind the counter has a heavy hand with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. His "House Special Salad" is stunningly perfect: Glass noodles, carrots, seaweed and chopped scallions accompany a hot and numbing dressing with a vinegary zip. The natural sweetness of the carrots mellows the whole dish out, but your mouth will be buzzing for hours. A convincing case for (occasionally) eating vegetarian. —Noah Arenstein, Law & Food
Golden Shopping Mall 41-28 Main Street, Flushing NY 11354 (map)