Ma Gong La Po | Chinatown | Asian | Restaurant
Hot pots and other Sichuan and northern Chinese specialties.

Our Review

If you walk into a restaurant and you can't read the menu, and nobody speaks your language, it's always a safe bet to goggle everybody else's table and point at what looks good. If you follow this procedure at Ma Gong La Po, you'll probably notice pretty much everyone hunched over butane burner-mounted hotel pans filled with whole fish, half submerged in a burbling lava of hot red oil, Sichuan peppercorns, red chiles, Chinese celery, and whole garlic cloves. This is the house specialty, "grilled fish hot pot," and while you'll get your fingers sticky picking a few bones out of your teeth, it's worth it for the hot-and-sour, tingly ma la buzz this dish offers, which also imparts itself to optional add-ins like tofu, cabbage, sweet potato noodles, enoki mushrooms, and more. The menu's now available translated into English, making it easier to navigate other offerings such as dumplings, noodles and northern-style "shredded pancakes," and a not atypical selection of cold appetizers like silky tofu with preserved duck eggs, rabbit in chile sauce, or smoked beef. One other essential order is a pitcher of the mildly sweet iced herbal tea. Floating with bits of grass jelly, it provides crucial emergency relief for your blazing palate and sweaty brow. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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