I'm counting down the top ten dishes from the new restaurants that I reviewed in 2012. Read the complete series to date.
#6: "Spicy Wonton Soup" at Famous Szechuan Pavilion (8615 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-685-0888)
"Spicy Wonton Soup" betrays its chile heat in the vivid orange-red of its broth, in which bob plump little wontons stuffed with ground pork. Szechuan peppercorns lurk at the bottom of the bowl; stir them up, and the soup suddenly explodes with their complex, unique flavor (sort of citrusy, sort of floral; sort of reminiscent of gin), not to mention their unique sensation: a tingling numbness that spreads across your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
-- from "Humble Heaven" (September 20, 2012)