Top Ten Dishes 2011 #7: Chengu Spicy Beef at Joy Luck Buffet

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I'm counting down my ten favorite dishes from the restaurants that I reviewed in 2011. The top dish will be revealed on Tuesday, December 27, and look for a slideshow featuring most of the winners on Wednesday, December 28.

JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Jennifer Silverberg
Joy Luck Buffet isn't a new restaurant, but getting tipped to the authentic Szechuan menu at this otherwise unassuming Chinese joint in Brentwood just west of Hanley Road was a highlight of my year. Dive right into the Szechuan-peppercorn sensation that the Chinese call ma la ("hot and numbing") with a bowl of Chengdu spicy beef. Though it isn't listed as such on the menu, this is a soup: thinly sliced beef in a broth of the deep red hue usually associated with a child's drawing of a fire truck. The broth packs the expected one-two punch of chiles and peppercorns; the flavor is rounded out by the beef and accented with a subtle sour note.

- "What's in a Name" February 3, 2011

Joy Luck Buffet (8030 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-645-9982)

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