Everything about Alley 41 is unexpected—starting with the moment you walk in to a very sleek and stylish room carefully designed to balance concrete slabs, black wood chairs and glass panes beneath the spotlights. The setting is highly stylized, and the Sichuan cooking is just as appealing. Dishes can sometimes arrive at lightning speed, sometimes not.
Leave yourself plenty of time to peruse the mammoth menu, decked with glossy photos to get you in the mood for serious slurping. Imagine an intensely savory and spicy mung bean jello salad and you’ll start to get the picture. Even anodyne dishes like mapo tofu or braised beef and vegetable vermicelli are wickedly spicy, but they bring a complex heat, layered with a funky, sour broth and chilies.- MICHELIN guide inspectors