Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2012 October 24 • Wednesday

A birthday party brought us to Jackson Heights last weekend and anytime you go to that part of the city, a meal must be had. We decided to try Phayul, a Tibetan restaurant we'd heard about.

It was awesome.

We started with beef soup dumplings which were good but not really exciting. After that came Shogo Khatsa, described on the menu simply as fried spicy potato.

It was every bit as good as it looked.

Then came Laphing, a dish of mung-bean-jelly noodles, which was delicious. The inclusion of Sichuan pepper has the usual, pleasing mouth-numbing effect and was in perfect harmony with the other flavors and textures of the dish.

Chinese cooking has found its way into Tibetan kitchens, apparently, so I tried double-cooked pork, one of my favorite dishes. This seemed redundant at first but the absence of Sichuan pepper made it into something of a refresher for the palate.

But the best dish, hands down, was Tsak sha la kor, a mind-blowing soup with beef, daikon and a lot of Sichuan pepper.

Alice and I agreed that if we ever felt like we were coming down with colds, we'd make haste to Phayul and eat this. The sensation of eating it was nothing short of electrifying and yet, again, completely harmonious.

There's a lot of stuff on Phayul's menu I want to try but it will be hard to go back and not order these same dishes again!