SGV: Spicy Existential Dinner at Nothingness
The first time I went to Nothingness, there was no one in the restaurant so my friend didn’t want to check it out. The second time we tried, it was still empty but I forced him to stay. And eventually another person came to eat dinner at a table next to us. I did see they had a few take-out orders. Perhaps early evening Sunday nights are not the best time to go if you want a lively restaurant but it’s awesome if you want extra special attention.
At Sichuan spots, I tend to order a few dishes to compare to my baseline favorites around the San Gabriel Valley. I usually order a fish dish, maybe mapo tofu, noodles and eggplant. The times I have not gotten mabo tofu is because my friend wants dry pot and that’s how we end up with frog and other little bits of crunchy stuff.
I tend to get the fish filets but the restaurant convinced us the whole fish was better. Ah, well, while I had a great time picking out all the itty bitty bones, I don’t think anyone else would have the patience. The tofu in the pot was awesome as well. It soaked up all the lovely flavor.
I liked that Nothingness gave us cucumber and peanuts as something to much on while we waited for our food. I had tried to order my fave mung bean jelly noodles but they were out this night. The cucumber was really helpful if you wanted something mild and tart to combat the spicy food later on in the meal.
I really enjoyed the frog dish. However there are a couple of caveats. I don’t like picking the meat off tiny bones and although the dry chile peppers are attractive, they don’t do much. So after you pick away at the frog, there’s actually not that much to eat. Still, get it because it’s really tasty.
I was surprised how good the Chongqing noodles were- the texture never got soggy and the sauce wasn’t too spicy. Admittedly I did ask for everything to be about medium. Eventually the spice did catch up to me but I loved it. What was even better was mixing the leftover noodles with the eggplant the next day. Still, my fave Chongqing noodles are at Mian.
There are several eggplant dishes on the menu but we opted with the ones with minced meat. I wouldn’t have minded try the garlic but maybe next time.
Nothingness288 S San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776 — (626) 782-7660 © The Minty 2017