Best Chinese Restaurant: Pepper Twins (River Oaks)
Houston has one of the most vibrant Chinatowns in the country, so when a Chinese restaurant manages to be so good that it can lure people away from Chinatown and back into the city, it must be something kind of special. That’s what Yunan Yang created with her mini-chain of Pepper Twins restaurants, the River Oaks location being a particular standout.
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Specializing in what Yang likes to call “country-style organic Chinese,” the food at Pepper Twins is vibrant, unapologetically spicy, clean and delicious. Favorites like the garlic cucumber, fish swimming in pickles, and the Pepper Twins chicken are highly recommended. Better yet, order the spicy beef tendon dish known as “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” GQ Magazine’s pick for Appetizer of the Year in 2017, to experience a “numbing, burning, textural masterpiece.”