Two Takes on West Philly’s Chili Szechuan; Nothing ‘Stuffy’ About Sophia’s

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• West Philly’s Chili Szechuan delivered a mixed bag of “ups and downs” for Adam Erace — dongpo pork was “dynamite,” hot-and-sour noodles “were neither” — which makes direct comparisons between it and Han Dynasty ‘unfair.’ Still it’s worthy of being a part of “the city’s Szechuan conversation.” [Citypaper]

• Jason Sheehan also weighs in on Chili Szechuan, saying the stir-fried cabbage with dry peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, and “a nutty, slight smoky chili oil” was his “winner by dint of fragrance alone.” He also vouches for the Spicy Chili Frog that comes with the Sichuan “hot-and-numbing flavor combo” turned “up to 11.” [Foobooz]

• Phyllis Stein-Novack says don’t let Sophia’s white tablecloths fool you, there is “nothing formal or stuffy about it,” and that Christopher Lee “instinctively knows how to put a tasty twist on classic dishes.” Out of the gate she tips her toque four times for “charging fair prices for drinks and wine.” [South Philly Review]