Red Pearl opened last month in the Columbia lakefront spot between Sushi Sono and Clyde's. I haven't been yet, but people have been leaving some reviews on a prior post. Jeff's party filled a table with dishes, including some items off the Sichuan menu. He recommended some American-style items like General Tso's, along with some others including chow foon noodles, cho san shein (sp?).
Jeff also emailed that the Red Pearl folks talked about opening an outdoor section. They were apparently waiting for a landlord to approve planters. Great view!
When I get to Red Pearl, I would love any recommendations. For now, I'm hyped up on an anoymous comment that recommends a smoked duck and fish.
We tried the tea smoked duck that ben informed us was the best seller, as well it should be. It was delightful, full of smokey flavor and a crunchy skin. We also tried some of the new szechuan dished that was recently incorporated into the menu.We had the beef tendon and tripe in the spicy sauce for an appetizer. Let me tell you, this new szechuan menu, although it is limited, is very authentic. The spiciness numbs the mouth, which is how real szechuan cuisine should be. For an entree from the szechuan menu, we had the popular szechuan cuisine of water boiled fish, or fish fillet on top of a bed of vegetables and marinated in a very hot and spicy sauce that smothers the items to make the perfect combination.(Update: If you want real Sichuan food, I suggest that you emphasize that to your waiter. Emphasize that you like spicy food. Maybe even tell the manager. I suggest this at any Chinese restaurant because restaurant owners appear wary about serving serve authentic food and having Americans complain. For example, we haven't eaten Chinese food in Howard County in more than a year because Hunan Legend served us glop -- even though I know through people like Warthog that the same kitchen serves terrific food. There are lots of positive comments about Red Peal (including some so positive that I worry if they're real), but I'm also getting private emails from people who got Americanized, not-so-spicy dishes. They're politely trying to figure out how to get the good stuff. My only advice: Be assertive. I'd love any other techniques people have tried.)
Red Pearl gives the menu to everyone. But I posted a copy of the Red Pearl's Sichuan menu on the Don Rockwell site because Blogger doesn't let me attach PDFs. Don Rockwell is a great place to check out DC restaurants and food. He is trying for Baltimore and Howard County, but it's tough to reach critical mass.
(Update II: Thanks for the photo Kyle. Everyone: I love cell phone photos if you're sending me emails about a place. Great to post.)
I'm trying to check back on some Chinese places. For now, I can vouch for the authentic menus at Hunan Taste in Catonsville and Grace Garden in Odenton. People swear by the Chinest menu -- including Malaysian items -- at Hunan Legend in Columbia. You can read a bunch of posts and detailed comments about Hunan Legend's Chinese menu, but I had to admit that my first meal there was so bad that I am still working on coaxing the team for another visit. I want to try the Hunan Legend, Red Pearl, and Noodles Corner, which apparently has Taiwanese dishes.