Travel

Mala Sichuan Bistro is the crown jewel of Houston’s Chinatown, a neighborhood glittering with really good food. The people elected it a winner long before the James Beard nomination was announced—check the consistently packed hall of happy diners as proof. Mala reserves bragging rights as some of the best Sichuan in the country: dan dan noodles, mapo tofu, and spicy, crispy chicken. The water-boiled fish in particular is a winner—the bright-red pot of simmering fish stew is perfect over a bowl of rice. Whatever you order, a side of eggplant cooked to sweet, gooey perfection is just…let’s just say you’ll be happy.

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