So I drive past a strip mall which is as utterly bland as its name (West Belt Plaza), next to the Willowbrook mall in Wayne, and I see a sign that says "Chengdu 23". Having a good feeling that it's not related to the awesome Chengdu 1 in Cedar Grove, and hoping it has nothing to do with the way-too-80's Chengdu 46, I pulled into the lot to have a quick drive-by look-see. It didn't look promising at all. "Asian cuisine", the sign proclaims. Yuck. Bye-bye. I put the place out of my mind. I mean, what are the odds of a random Chinese restaurant opening and serving authentic food of any kind, if the sign says "Asian cuisine".
Until the other day, when I read a bit about the place on northjersey.com. "We make home-style Sichuan ... the type of food you'd get in central China, where they like things spicier," the owner says in the article. "Well fuck me," I thought. So, you know, off I went.