Restaurant: Spicy Impression
Location: 17110 Colima Rd B, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745. (626) 363-4948
Date: December 20, 2022
Cuisine: Sichuan Chinese
Rating: Mostly for takeout
Typical box store.
Casual interior. There was only one other table, although lots of takeout in progress.
“Stir-fried” cucumber. I don’t think that word means what they think it means, as this was smashed cucumbers (with garlic and peanuts). It was actually an absolutely first rate version with a nice crunch and GREAT garlic flavor. The peanuts were a nice addition as well.
Stir-fried clams with Chinese pepper. Now this is actually stir fried. The flavor on this dish was awesome. The crispy green pepper corns were delicious and the flavor from the chopped chilis intense. Eating them was eye watering and they were the only genuinely spicy element at this lunch.
Spicy Soup with Sneakhead Fish Filet and Pork Intestine. Very nice flavors in this dish. The fish was oily and almost eel-like and very tasty. There was also “douchi” (fermented salted black beans) and a very flavorful broth, although it had a strong undertaste of “pig poo.” Yeah, and that was a deliberate (pig) intestinal funk. Oh yeah baby!
Stir-fried lamb belly with Chinese spices. Not sure how the belly was different from the lamb in the next dish, but the stir fry mix was a bit different. It had celery and the hot peppers again (as opposed to dried) and no cumin.
Cumin Lamb. Classic cumin lamb. Fairly “intense” lamb flavor with quite a bit of cumin. I would have liked slightly more “Wok Hei” as I’m not sure they charred the lamb on the hyper hot wok first.
Spicy Pork Feet. Pig’s feet that were braised in an interesting star anise and black cardamom broth, then stir fried with chili oil, onions, garlic etc. I don’t like flabby pig skin but the gelatinous and fatty meat below the skin was good.
Mapo Eggplant. I’ve never had this dish, basically Mapo Tofu with eggplant instead. It was delicious with a very strong flavor of Sichuan Peppercorn. It wasn’t actually that numbing as perhaps that was cooked out, but it was strongly flavored with the complex herbal-citrus notes of the peppercorn.
Chinese Spicy & Sour Cabbage. The cabbage had a nice crunch and was very enjoyable. It didn’t have that totally addictive “pork fat” flavor but I still ate at least half of this dish.
Overall, this place was tasty, but is really just a Sichuan takeout shack. Clearly people aren’t eating in here as there were stacks and stacks of takeout containers at the ready. As such, they don’t have much variety of prep. Nearly everything on the menu is wokked and most dishes are just different proteins stir-fried in a set number of preps. There are no different cooking styles like “Tea Smoked Duck” or even many cold dishes.