10 Best Spicy Dishes in Los Angeles
Wedged into a mini-mall in Redondo Beach, Addi's is an unlikely place for a great Indian restaurant, even less so one that specializes food from the Goa region, a type of cooking that is to India what fiery Szechuan cooking is to China. The lamb vindaloo, a fragrant curry slightly tinted with vinegar, is pretty spicy even when it's prepared mildly. Ask them to turn up the heat and you'll be consumed by a whirling, complex spiciness that is probably the closest legal equivalent to taking a handful of psychedelics and wandering off into the desert. 800 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach; 310-540-1616.
6. Deviled Chicken at Apey Kade
via Apey Kade Deviled Chicken
Located in a tiny Tarzana strip small, Apey Kade (which many regulars remember as the well-liked Curry Bowl) specializes in the hot-hot-hot cooking of Sri Lanka, whose meals often include a selection of sweet, sour and blazingly spicy sambals that probably warrant a place on this list by themselves. The wok-seared preparation of deviled chicken, made with curry leaves, lime juice and a combination of fresh and dried chiles, is ordered only by the most adventurous spice-heads. 19662 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana; (818) 609-7683.
5. Preserved Pork Belly with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
G. Snyder Preserved Pork Belly with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King
The cooking of the Hunan province, a landlocked swath of fertile farmland in the middle of China, is not for the faint of heart: No Hunan dish is complete without a liberal dosing of sliced, fire engine-red chiles. At Hunan Chilli King, fresh chiles are everywhere. They're in the wok-seared shrimp, the cumin-spiced lamb, the whole braised fish -- you name it. It's enough to make you feel for the dude in the back of the kitchen dicing up what must be an endless parade of peppers. The result is that every dish kind of looks the same, even if they taste completely different. A perennial favorite is Hunan's famous preserved pork belly -- bacon, for all intents and purposes -- stir-fried with smoked tofu, bits of garlic and ginger, and an obscene amount of peppers. Historical records suggest that this may have been one of Chairman Mao's favorite dishes. But take heart: Even if you're not a supreme communist leader, you can brave the heat. There's plenty of white rice and Beijing-style yogurt drinks that come in cutesy Styrofoam cups. 534 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel; 626-288-7993.
Turn the page for #4 ...
9041 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA