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The Smoking Hot Number Award: Mission Chinese Food

RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013 Riding a maverick wave of hype from San Francisco, this wonderfully weird Asian dive washed onto the...

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Cumin lamb breast at Mission Chinese Food

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Thrice-cooked bacon with rice cakes at Mission Chinese Food

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Kung pao pastrami at Mission Chinese Food

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Salt cod fried rice at Mission Chinese Food

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Fresh tofu poached in soymilk with soybeans at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Mapo tofu with pork shoulder at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Mouth-watering chicken at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Tea-smoked eel at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Beijing vinegar peanuts and pickles at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Chongqing chicken wings at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Lamb-cheek dumplings in red oil at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Savory egg custard with trout roe at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Stir-fried sweet peas at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Wild pepper leaves in salted chili broth at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Chilled buckwheat noodles at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Mongolian long beans at Mission Chinese Food
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mission Chinese Food

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mission Chinese Food

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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Danny Bowien at Mission Chinese Food

RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013

Riding a maverick wave of hype from San Francisco, this wonderfully weird Asian dive washed onto the Lower East Side and captivated our city’s notoriously cynical denizens with its while-you-wait gratis beer, Twin Peaks–themed bathroom and, most profoundly, chef Danny Bowien’s singular, Scoville-busting cuisine. Bowien blazed onto the scene like a Szechuan supernova, his unmistakable look (he stir-fried flaming woks in white short shorts, ombré-blond mane tucked under a hat) popping up everywhere, from GQ to Uniqlo. Only a dude as proudly idiosyncratic as the Korea-born, Oklahoma-bred toque would be cocksure enough to plate delectably oddball kung pao pastrami and Coca-Cola-braised pig tails, or bold enough to stack 30-pound boxes of dried chilies in sight, daring you to flee. Instead, New Yorkers keep turning out in droves at the nondescript storefront, dabbing their sweat-beaded brows and fanning their overheated mouths for relief from chili-oil-soaked peanut noodles and heavily peppered pickles. At MCF, Bowien seems to be the only one not breaking a sweat. Mission Chinese Food, 154 Orchard St between Rivington and Stanton Sts (212-529-8800, missionchinesefood.com)

Comments

1 comments
Lungs_of_Steel
Lungs_of_Steel

Been here a bunch of times. Some big hits, some big misses. In the end, I had to stop going because all the entrees are too salty.