Spicy Sichuan Street Food at Fast Hot Pot

Photograph by Ron de Angelis

Fast Hot Pot specializes in Mala-Tang hot pot, a tongue-tingling Sichuan street food. Mala-Tang translates to “spicy, numbing soup,” and its fieriness derives from Sichuan peppercorns and dried chiles. Diners at the new District at Tustin Legacy spot select from more than 80 ingredients including thinly shaved Angus beef, fried tofu puffs, a variety of fish balls, wood-ear mushrooms, and fresh noodles from sweet potato to wide glass. Beef tendon and duck gizzard are only the start for more adventurous eaters. Patrons weigh the ingredients, choose among a half-dozen soup bases such as tom yum kung, Indian curry, and pickled cabbage, and specify spice level. The staff prepares the dish within minutes—hence the name Fast. The hot pot is $13 per pound, the typical serving a little more than a pound. Also on the menu: puff paratha pancakes; rice noodle dishes; a delightful coconut dessert; and Chinese bayberry juice. Animated projections the length of the restaurant transport, as well. 2419 Park Ave., Tustin, 657-720-1141

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