Chinese Food (Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, Mandarin, Special Noodle)
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T W. on:
3/23/2013 8:33:00 AM
I've been on the hunt for decent chinese in DC since as I got here 10 years ago and was pretty excited when I heard about Great Wall. Based on the reviews, I just picked up twice cooked pork, ma la wontons, crab rangoon, szechuan fried rice, and an eggroll. I couldn't be more disappointed. The pork was basically half cooked strips of bacon. I understand that pork belly is inherently fatty but I'd be shocked if someone could consume that entire dish without keeling over, it was 80% fat. The wontons were basically wet starchy noodles in a bad red sauce. Crab Rangoon was very poor, really nothing but shell, and the Fried Rice was unremarkable, basically what you'd expect from the normal corner take out spot, which so many reviews told me Great Wall wasn't. Even the eggroll was bad. I just threw it all out and I remain perplexed as the quality of chinese in DC. This is the first review I've ever posted, and maybe my hopes were too high after reading so many other posts, but I just didnt want the same thing to happen to the next person.
joe w. on:
3/20/2013 2:43:00 AM
Recommend the green beans, rice, and house chow fun with beef, shrimp, and veggies.
Jane M. on:
3/17/2013 3:30:00 AM
Oh it's wonderful to have some real, spicy food with enough Sichuan peppercorns in it for once. The Ma La menu. YUM.
A Z. on:
3/15/2013 7:15:00 PM
Let me start off by saying... what the hell!?After being told that this place is good but not having tried it for years, I finally ordered some take out.I started very simple: szechuan chicken and steamed dumplings.What I got was a bucket full of shredded carrots with a dash of chicken. The exact breakdown of the dish was as follows: 77% shredded carrots, 17% oil, 5% chicken, 1% chili peppers. Having lived in China for a year I can attest that the oil was the only authentic element (and one I could do without). The dish was not even vaguely spicy, and indeed more sweet if anything. It's possible they gave me the wrong dish, but they did confirm that it was szechuan chicken before I left the restaurant, and I ordered at 515 so there was nobody else ordering yet. Additionally, I'm not sure what mistaken dish they could have given me..."Shredded carrots in bland oil"? Did I mention it was all carrots? WTH is up with that?The steamed dumplings were bland and too doughy and the dipping sauce much too salty for my taste.All this displeasure for $18. Very disappointing. Needless to say, I will not be giving it a second try, even despite the abysmal lack of Chinese food options in DC. Sichuan Pavilion or even - dare I say - somewhere like City Lights of China are better options.
Anna P. on:
3/10/2013 3:47:00 PM
Most authentic Chinese food I've had in DC. Their Sichuan menu is delicious, although I would avoid the more traditional "American Chinese" dishes (General Tso's, etc) as you won't be getting the best from this restaurant.My new favorite place in DC.
Mary D. on:
3/10/2013 3:25:00 PM
I have never written a yelp review but felt compelled after trying the ma pho tofu, which was one of washingtonian's best 40 dishes. It was SO salty I had to stop after 4-5 bites. I felt like I had just consumed three days worth of sodium.Don't try it.
Lena P. on:
3/6/2013 10:18:00 AM
Coming into this restaurant I was not sure what to expect as one of my friends suggested the place via Iphone app "nearest Chinese restaurant." But I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this Logan Circle joint is one of the best Chinese food restaurants in the city I've tried thus far. We ordered fried dumplings, kung pao chicken (ma la style), and boiled fish filet with vegetables. The fried dumplings were pretty good, the typical thick-skinned and flavorful kind. The boiled fish and kung pao chicken though were delicious! I wasn't sure what ma la style was at first, being used to Taiwanese style cuisine, but apparently it is a type of moderately spicy Sichuanese peppercorn that has a slight numbing sensation. I normally I eat around the usual spicy peppers in a Sichuan dish, but these peppers had a unique taste that I hadn't experienced before and really enjoyed. Probably my favorite Sichuan dish, boiled fish, did not disappoint at all (perfect amount of spicy and melt-in-your-mouth flavor). And of course the typical Chinese tea was served to top the meal off. All in all, a very good experience. I highly recommend this restaurant's boiled fish and "ma la style" dishes to any spicy food lover.
Jessica K. on:
2/24/2013 8:06:00 PM
Go-to Chinese delivery place in DC. Food is consistently delicious and delivery is very fast.
Joel S. on:
2/8/2013 6:40:00 PM
Disclaimer - Don't come here if you:a. don't like spicy foodb. plan on ordering lo mein, general tsos, orange beef, or any of the other american style Chinese dishes (although I bet they would be pretty good too)- - -Don't be fooled by the exterior of this building as it is very unassuming. You only eat a finite number of meals in your life and I feel sorry for whoever doesn't get to try the food here. Anything off the Ma La menu is top of the line authentic Chinese food (Szechuan Style) that I would put head to head with any dish from any restaurant in DC. For an appetizer order the Ma La Cold Noodles and Ma La Wontons. The Ma Po Tofu, Peking Duck, Twice Cooked Pork, Eggplant in Szechuan Garlic Sauce, and Salt and Pepper Shrimp are all must haves. It is best to go in a group of 6-8 so you can try multiple dishes. Everything pairs perfectly with a nice cold Tsingtao (ching-dow) beer.
Amanda W. on:
2/2/2013 5:03:00 PM
I live close to Szechuan House and its my go-to take out/delivery Chinese spot. The food is consistent and delicious. I usually order dumplings, egg drop soup, and moo-goo gai pan. I've heard great things about their Ma la items. Unfortunately, I'm a wimp when it comes to spice.Definitely, give Szechuan House a shot.
Aimee G. on:
1/20/2013 10:05:00 PM
I had delivery here after a long day of meetings and I didn't feel like schlepping out looking for food. As I'm not from here I was wary of ordering blindly but found this place using the Yelp app on my phone so I decided to go for it.Delivery was fast, easily within the promised 20 minutes, which was a bonus on a nasty rainy night. And I since I have no other service to review, I'll note that the delivery guy was friendly, lol!My order was correct, hot and fresh. The orange chicken and steamed dumplings were good. I thought the prices were reasonable too. I'd definitely order from here again.
Valarie C. on:
1/10/2013 10:27:00 AM
Good food but doesn't reheat well so don't bother taking home leftovers
Alan W. on:
1/9/2013 9:38:00 PM
Still the best place for Mala Sichuan food in DC. Just make sure to only order from their Mala section.
Jeff T. on:
1/4/2013 2:50:00 AM
When I bring people who normally don't eat Chinese food to a Chinese restaurant, I always feel like it's my last chance to change their mind about my culture and my people. It's also my chance to convince them I'm not a barbarian that eats bad food.Great Wall made me look kind of like a barbarian.It keeps a few stars because it is still one of the only places to get authentic food and the service is uncharacteristically warm for a Chinese place. But per last night, it simply does not do anything very well. Salt and Pepper fried chicken was overcooked and salty. Double cooked pork was oily. Peking duck was not actually Peking duck and it came with tortillas?? Knife through my heart guyz. (I guess this last one is partly my fault for thinking a random Szechuan place would have good Peking Duck).I'll probably be back to give them another chance, but next time I'm coming alone and with much lower expectations.
Christine K. on:
1/3/2013 11:57:00 AM
The experience here was very mediocre. I treated my friend here for a birthday dinner, so, even more painful than the saltiness of the food was having to plaster a fake smile of enjoyment throughout the entire meal so as to not ruin the occasion. Okay, the food was edible, but just nothing I would ever, ever, ever order on my own terms. I seriously felt my blood pressure rising 2 mmHg/sec as I ate the salt and pepper chicken. The duck plate came with tortillas - it was okay, but it tasted off. The pork belly was pretty good. I liked the hot and sour soup a lot?
Mo A. on:
12/30/2012 3:49:00 AM
Meh. I had heard that this place had great Szechuan style food. It turned out to be average at best. Not great, just good.
Juana S. on:
12/28/2012 10:24:00 PM
This is my mandated Christmas Day Chinese restaurant review. It's my third holiday in DC and the third where I've been way too lazy to attempt any kind of somewhat traditional food, so this year I went for Chinese. Living down the street from this place and seeing the reviews meant I couldn't help but try it. As a caveat, I was born and raised in Missouri which, uh, is lacking to say the least when it comes to ethnic food options, so bear with me.What we ordered: Chicken LoMein, Dumplings (meat), Ma Po Tofu, Twice Cooked Pork Belly, Crab Rangoon, Hot and Sour Soup (plus ample servings of mimosas courtesy of a far too expensive Whole Foods trip on Christmas Eve)Pros:Speed. Even though I came out with a $40+ order for our group, they managed to have my food boxed and ready to go in 20 minutes flat. I've ordered less from takeout locations in the neighborhood and had a longer wait.The pork belly. Now, I don't typically doubt my fellow Yelpers. Y'all rarely steer me wrong. But pork belly isn't anything I've ever ordered from a Chinese restaurant so I was a little skeptical here. Best choice I ever made and best meal I've probably had in the last two months. For $10 and change I got a substantial portion, tons of flavor and one of the most complex takeout dishes I've had in a long time. I could have ordered that and skipped everything else on the menu and been a happy girl.Hot and Sour Soup: Simply the best I've had since moving. Will definitely be a repeat dish in my house.Cons:Bedside manner. I showed up around 11:45, seeing that Yelp and other sites listed the restaurant's opening as 11. Apparently it was 12, and the staff yelled at me for being early and for walking on the wet floor. (In my defense, there were no wet floor signs... and I'm Midwestern nice so I apologized profusely.)Price. Not that the restaurant didn't offer a good selection and wasn't fast, but it was a little on the high side for takeout Chinese.Odds are very high I'll be back to this one because another trip to Yum's a bit down the block that'll probably require penicillin just can't happen. I value my life too much.
Irina L. on:
12/26/2012 5:44:00 PM
Calling all Ma-La addicts: make your way to this restaurant!We came for dinner on a Saturday night, with clear goals of enjoying a ma-la flavored Szechuan meal. I haven't been here for over 2 years, and was pleasantly surprised at the positive changes: gone are the cheap tables and chairs, replaced by the nice dark wood options, and the odor of burned spicy oil was not ever-present in the air. Perhaps that was just an anomaly when I was last here in October 2010, but, nevertheless, I was very pleasantly surprised.We zeroed in on all ma-la selections, and promptly decided upon ma-la wonton appetizer, followed by the ma-la mapo tofu, and to ease the severity of the spices, we also ordered baby bok choi with garlic.The wontons were a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!! So fantastic, we ordered one more portion. The balance of ma-la and flavors was very good (though personally, I really was hoping for a Bigger impact from ma-la -- a bit more of a "bite"). But mapo tofu did not disappoint: large cubes of tofu, cooked in sumptuous spices and "numbing" hot ma-la peppers, with oil and ground meat: spooned over rice, it was absolutely heavenly. The baby bok choi was softly steamed, tossed with large slices of garlic.It all may sound simple and, maybe, even "lame", but our dinner was exactly spot-on in flavors, spices, contrasts of textures and overall satisfaction. When we are in DC the next time, the Great Wall will be a "must" on our dining list.
Len G. on:
12/7/2012 9:21:00 PM
Very good food. Authentic. Little pricey for Chinese. Food taste was 4.5. Service 3. Value 3.
Fiona O. on:
12/2/2012 6:11:00 AM
This place is best described as ok for DC. It's not very good, and in another town it would be very disappointing, but Chinese food isn't where we shine in DC. I haven't tried everything, but I'd recommend strongly against the general tso's tofu and the sweet and sour chicken.They also do not offer brown rice as an option, which drives me crazy.
Safiyyah A. on:
11/28/2012 2:31:00 PM
This place is great, and the staff is friendly. My guest always gets the Orange Chicken, which she LOVES (it's just a tad spicy, and I've gotten the Ma Pa (?) Tofu and the Crispy Eggplant. Both very good, the veggie spring rolls are delicious too. And they're fast! Definitely a must try!
Phillip H. on:
11/28/2012 1:58:00 AM
Great dumplings. Hot and sour soup was terrific!
Deb S. on:
11/14/2012 9:31:00 PM
There are not many authentic Chinese restaurants in DC. If you want authentic, please, please, please go to (or order delivery from) Great Wall, because they are as authentic as you can get.My friends and I ordered delivery from them, on the recommendation from my boyfriend, who is apparently obsessed with them. The delivery arrived about 40 minutes after we ordered. We were NOT disappointed with the food. There were two vegetarians and two omnivores among us, and we were all very happy. Super spicy, numbing, flavorful, and amazing. If you don't want spicy, order the moo shu, which my friend did, and I tried it and also loved it.
Aithne M. on:
11/10/2012 10:39:00 AM
First off, Great Wall Szechuan is one of my go-to places for Chinese in DC when I'm too lazy to cook myself. For DC standards, its probably a 5, but I gave it three stars only because I have Chinese food in Taiwan, China, LA to compare it to. For DC, its great. In the broader spectrum of Chinese in general, I have to be impartial and think about the broader universe.That said, this place in DC is my saving grace. It's a hole in the wall with no decor or real exceptional service, but all I really care about is the food. They could do to add less oil. I recommend anything here that is "ma-la" (spicy) or szechuan style (which is also spicy). There's also the spicy fish casserole-like dish which is a favorite.
Shamik T. on:
11/6/2012 9:00:00 AM
Pretty good at a great price. I regret second guessing my original order of eggplant in Szechuan sauce, but ah well. Fried rice was delicious, and vegetable lo mein was also quite good.One downside of eating there -- phone was ringing off the hook, and the woman answering them was basically overwhelmed. I found it distracting to hear a phone continuously ringing throughout my meal, but hey, what are you going to do.
Francis K. on:
11/3/2012 6:03:00 AM
Good Chinese food in Logan Circle! You know it is pretty good when your Chinese coworker gives it the thumbs up. The decor isn't great but we usually get carry out or delivery so that doesn't matter. Their Kung Pao chicken is mostly chicken and very little filler. If you are in Logan Circle with a hankering for Chinese, pass up Yums and go a block north to this place!
Veronique L. on:
10/14/2012 10:21:00 PM
I placed an order for a hot and sour soup, kung pao chicken, vegetable lo mein, steamed dumplings, and ma po tofu. The order was $38.45.The woman who took my order spoke with a hint of an accent and repeated my order back to me to make sure she understood me correctly. She then told me food would be delivered in 30 - 40 minutes.Lo and behold, barely 15 minutes later, I received a call from the delivery boy. I went outside, and he ran up and handed me my food. Very chipper young fellow.I disliked that they did not provide a menu or utensils, but the chicken and tofu come with rice, and we got fried noodles for the soup and fortune cookies with the order.You can order the chicken and other things ma la style. I'm glad I didn't. Kung pao chicken was spicy enough, and ma la, as the lady on the phone explained, is numbingly spicy. The tofu was a bit oily for my liking. I thought the lo mein and dumplings were well done though.
MelLid G. on:
9/14/2012 8:44:00 PM
Clean place...Decent food...Reasonable prices...There aren't too many places where you can get decent Chinese food downtown so I decided to walk a few blocks extra to see what the hype was about.The 7$ lunch specials are definitely a bargain. They have over 10 options to choose from and they all come with a egg roll. I opted for the shrimp with vegetables and was satisfied with my choice. The food came out hot and was seasoned pretty good. Not HOLY SHIT I HAVE TO RETURN good but acceptable. My friends general tso's chicken looked like any other chinese restraunt in the area but she seemed satisfied.
Chris C. on:
8/19/2012 10:45:00 AM
I have been ordering good food from this restaurant and tonight, the delivery boy, called the house and said he was downstairs with the food. I told him to access my apt code but he is using the home phone. I went downstairs and no car. I waited and lo and behold, his car arrived and I was not happy. I grabbed the receipt signed it and he said, "why so upset?" I said, "Because you lied." I turned around to get back to the front door and he said, "Fuck you."If this is the kind of customer service you provide, to get the owner down the steps to wait for a supposedly food delivery, is NOT GOOD. To be cussed out by the delivery boy from the customer that just paid this resto is UNACCEPTABLE.Maybe the owners do not know that these delivery boys practice this, but I will not order from this resto anymore. If I was the owner, I would fire the SOB on the spot.
M l. on:
8/14/2012 8:14:00 PM
Finally, good Chinese food in DC! More authentic too.I was impressed by the food at Great Wall. The ingredients tasted fresh, it was not drenched in oil, and had excellent flavor. The menu includes some more traditional dishes (i.e. stuff not on the Panda Express menu), even some basic steamed bok choy.The seating area is small, but nicely set up. Unlike most Chinese food places I have been too, the tables are spread out so you are not sitting back to back with the people on the next table. Service was quick and friendly.
Kristy W. on:
8/8/2012 2:01:00 AM
Disclaimer: I've only eaten here for delivery.Delish! Their delivery comes quickly, is piping hot, and is a nice portion of food. We've eaten their orange chicken, sesame chicken, fried rice, and chicken lo mein, and they were all really great. There's usually enough food to get us through two or three meals, so I keep that in mind when I order.If you're looking for some awesome chinese food but are too lazy to go get it yourself, this is definitely a place to try.
Michael S. on:
6/24/2012 6:11:00 AM
Great delivery service, food comes within 10-15 minutes and is piping hot. Unless you've had Mala before, I would avoid it at all costs! We ordered Mala Kung Pao Chicken and Mala Eggplant based on other reviews and were extremely confused. We weren't sure if the food was supposed to taste like lysol or not. The flavor is similar to a lemony chemical taste and leaves a numbing sensation on your tongue. This was unexpected.I will be ordering from here again but not off the Mala menu.
John M. on:
6/23/2012 12:28:00 PM
I am *not* a big fan of their generic Chinese food. For standard, suburban, US-style Chinese food, Eastern Carryout is THE BOMB.However, this place has THE BEST boiled fish dish in all of DC. It's a terribly spicy, bright red soup of white fish fillet, cilantro, and chilies. Sichuan Palace on K is also good for Sichuan food, but their boiled fish doesn't compare to Great Wall.
Suchi P. on:
6/22/2012 5:25:00 PM
1) The food is actually spicy! I ordered it with extra ma la.2) The Ma La menu is pretty good3) Tried the Ma Po Tofu, with meat, but I think the all meat dishes might taste better. The ma po tofu is good, no doubts about that, but there are better dishes available too!4) I would go again. Not pricey at all, just like the price you would pay at a food truck!
Jessica E. on:
6/9/2012 3:15:00 PM
We are new to the neighborhood and our previous go-to Chinese delivery were Mei Wah or Mr Chens,, both mediocre. The night of our move to our new neighborhood, we were starving. We ordered hot and sour soup, veggie dumplings, salt and pepper tofu, and fried rice. Everything was delicious and I couldn't tell if it was just because we were starving.Fast forward a few weeks and we had the standard order - kung pao tofu. The tofu was very good - very flavorful. The hot and sour soup is some of the best I've had in DC (and I love me some hot and sour soup). We had some broccoli side dish, too (spicy garlic sauce, maybe) that was pretty good.I'm glad this is our go-to delivery. It's fast, inexpensive, and so far, deeeelicious!
Connie L. on:
6/4/2012 4:56:00 AM
I guess its acquired taste.. but we got the Mala eggplant and Mala kung pao chicken based on the reviews and we almost puked.my boyfriend spit the kungpao out and i could not eat any of it. i don't know if they just made it bad, but it wasnt spicy, but just numbing and tasted like menthol. my boyfriend said it tasted like pine sol cleaner.we also got pork dumplings which werent great. they were too thick with little filling and no flavor.we ordered delivery so maybe that's why the food tasted awful, or maybe its just acquired taste. we will not be ordering from here again.
Jee D. on:
4/19/2012 10:19:00 AM
(take out only) A friend and I stopped into Great Wall to get some take-out. He (and many, many others) have raved about the ma la menu at Great Wall so I was excited to give it try. I ordered the hot and sour soup and the double boiled pork. The food came out quickly and the staff there was really friendly.I was prepared for an over-the-top, in-my-face type of hot, but it was more of a warming spicy. The pork was really tender and the broth was flavorful, once you can get past the layer of oil. The hot and sour soup was delicious - definitely the best in the area, IMHO. The sizes of both dishes were substantial, and I got 2 meals out of my 1 order. I'll most definitely make another visit to Great Wall to try some of their other dishes - so far, I'm a fan!
YK C. on:
3/22/2012 12:28:00 AM
All right, I am going to let you in on a little secret.Have you ever walked by this place and see an eager looking hungry bunch eating over a pot of boiling soup with red hot peppers? I am convinced that the owner purposely put us up at the front of the restaurant to advertise.As we stuff our faces, passerby would come in, sit down, and ask for it. Sadly, they would be disappointed, because it's not available.So here's the deal. Order at least a day before. If you want it on a Friday night, call on Thursday afternoon and tell the owner that you want hot pot, what time you want it, how many people are coming (6 is the minimum), and what you want in it. They buy the ingredients from the market the morning of the meal, so you get everything fresh. But you have to know what you want.For those of you who have never tried hot pot, I would recommend the following: dumplings (at least two orders if not more for a table of six -- these are fresh homemade dumplings), tofu skins, lotus roots, potatoes, watercress, spinach, romaine lettuce, lamb, beef, beef tendon meatballs, cold tofu, wide rice noodles, and vermicelli noodles (glass noodles). You'd be gleefully stuffed with this.The soup is the "yin-yang" soup, which is half hot pepper broth and half pickled cabbage broth. For those who are into spicy, the hot pepper broth is no joke. Come eat and man up. The pickled cabbage broth is one of the finest. The chef cooks it for at least 4 hours ahead of time to bring out the aroma and flavor.All of this, plus beer for six would set you back around $40 / person. The more people the merrier and the cheaper this would get. Trust me, it's well worth it.Hopefully next time I will see you next to me eating instead of staring at me eating through the window.
Alice H. on:
3/19/2012 8:50:00 AM
Order from the Ma La menu. Seriously. This is the only place to get authentic Szechuan food in D.C. They use the ma spice from the Chengdu province, which is a numbing spiciness with a hint of citrus-- the spice is related to the citrus plant. I haven't taken anyone here who hasn't gone back. I'm sure the Americanized stuff is meh, but you really can't judge this place based on any dishes that aren't ma la. It's their specialty.I suggest the Ma Po Tofu, the Dan Dan Noodles, Ma La Wontons, Ma La Boiled Beef, Ma La Twice Cooked Pork, and the Ma La Eggplant. Portions are very generous.It's owned by a lovely family who speak Mandarin. They just underwent some serious renovations and the place is beautiful. Also, they are super friendly and non-judgy whenever I call to carryout and order too much.
Norry H. on:
1/16/2012 6:42:00 PM
Now that the interior renovation is completed, and the new server lady has been hired, the menu has been updated as well. Prices of some menu items have been slightly increased but only 50 ~ 60 cents. Tea is no longer complementary but $1.50 per person. (but there are varieties of tea now, not just Jasmin Tea)There is a big screen flat TV on the back wall facing store front, but the only thing they play is the Chinese Channel and most of us non-Chinese patrons do not understand, but it's okay. We do not go there to watch TV but to enjoy tasty Szechuan cuisine.Today I enjoyed lunch here with my friends and we tried one of their new menus - Boiled Fish with Sour Mustard Green. Oh, it was wonderful. This is a great non-spicy dish to order for a change.After the renovation, it seems like the place is filled with more people all the time for both lunch and dinner.One thing I noticed today, on a very cold windy day, is that the entrance door is a single door now (versus double doors before) and every time the door was opened, cold air came in and we all felt it as we were seated in the First Class area of the restaurant, (so I call it). I miss the double door.After all this, this is still my best favorite Chinese restaurant in DC.
I finally got around to trying the ma la Szechuan at this place that the City Paper review wrote about. Wow! Revelatory stuff. Unfathomably hot and deeply spicey I have had the ma po tofu, the steamed beef with brocolli, and the ma la ...?
Szechuan House frequently. They routinely deliver well prepared food and they have provided fairly fast delivery service. Occasionally they will forget a plate and/or fork, a fortune cookie here or there, but mostly all of our deliveries have been excellent. ...?
We ordered the "Ma La Kung Po Chicken" expecting simply a hotter version of the classic dish. Instead, we were shocked when we bit into the dish and it had a very putrid, bitter taste, and a numbing effect. We hadn't done our homework on what the "Ma La" meant, but did some research and found out it refers to a Szechuan paste that is made from soybeans, spices, and something called doubanjiang, which we presume is the main culprit. I am being completely honest here, I have never tasted anything so appalling and grotesque in my entire life. The flavor of this Ma La dish is akin to Citrus Pine Sol. I've been eating Chinese food for 20 years and have never come across this Ma La cuisine, so this is a forewarning that you might be severely disappointed if you just wanted an extra spicy dish and elect for the Ma La menu, because it's not really spicy, it's just nasty.?
It's a shame that this is the best Szechuan in the city (well, haven't been to the other place in Chinatown, but Great Wall is generally considered to be the better of the two). I have only been here once. I ordered the Ma La Chicken, I can't remember what my friends ordered. So disappointing. I have to agree with "Laura" that my dish also tasted putrid. This, however, wasn't the taste of dou ban jiang, which I absolutely love and go through jars of regularly. It was hot, yes, but that was not enough cover for the underlying taste. (My friend just chimed in and said that my dish had tasted like nail polish remover.) I have an idea of what they were going for, and they just missed the mark by a mile. If you're looking for good Sichuan in the area, try China Star in Fairfax. Authentic flavors, complex, good quality ingredients. Unfortunately, the convenience of Great Wall does not make it worth tasting...that.?
Coming from Manhattan, I know my Chinese takeout, and this place delivers (figuratively and literally). The place may not look like much, but they have friendly service, good prices, and delicious food.?
This is my favorite Chinese food in all of DC and perhaps anywhere (aside from a place that makes good soup dumplings, which I have yet to find in DC). This place is unmatched for its spicy Szechuan-style food. If you like spicy food, you will really enjoy this place, but you must order the "ma la" dishes. The food is not complicated, but it is excellent. Hence, you will probably not like this place if you consider presentation and complexity as primary characteristics of good food. The owners are very friendly; prices are low-medium, not the cheapest but very affordable; and they also deliver within a certain radius of the DuPont/U Street/Columbia Heights area.?