Mala Sichuan Bistro

Mala Sichuan Bistro on Westheimer is the original location’s first foray beyond the familiar Chinatown territory—and its endeavors are greatly appreciated by the area locals. Classy and beautiful interior, certainly a far cry from its parent location, makes for a wonderfully intimidate dining experience. The food here is food is still as inexpensive and authentic-Chinese as you'd expect from a place with menu items like "Sichuan Funky Cold Noodles" and "Aromatic and Spicy Duck Tongue." The ultra-hot live tilapia dishes are popular, but tea-smoked duck, cumin beef and dan dan noodles are equally good — and slightly less spicy — options as well. A definitive dish to try is the Sichuan red-oil dumplings, a bowl of perfectly-cooked handmade pork dumplings in a piquant red chili oil and soy sauce.