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Noodles with spicy peppers and sliced pork

Dragon 1 Chinese Restaurant
At Dragon 1 Chinese Restaurant, it's important not to be fooled by the crumpled menu or the mismatched lavender and green banquettes. The mess of notebooks, crumbs, and takeout boxes piled behind the register should be only a distraction. Owner Alan Zhang is cooking some of Miami’s most intense, flavorful Chinese food. Though he was born in Tianjin, near the Chinese capital of Beijing, Zhang's menu focuses on the fiery fare of Sichuan province. There’s the canoe-size dish of braised beef piled high with as many dried chilies as thin slices of meat. It begins with a steamed pile of napa cabbage that's transferred to the bowl with a bit of its cooking liquid. The chilies are fried in Zhang's fire-engine-red oil with a handful of peppercorns, sesame seeds, and the thin slabs of fatty meat. Together they create an intensely spicy sauce with just a bit of fragrance thanks to the ad hoc vegetable stock. The heat is aggressive and addictive.Read our full review.