BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT
Szechuan is currently the hottest thing going in Chinese food, weaning Twin Citians off their taste for Leeann Chin and turning them on to something more authentic. Szechuan in Roseville does smart work with all the cuisine's staples: snapping, soy-slicked Szechuan green beans, Dan Dan noodles doused in a fiery sauce (think pad Thai with more pluck), and Chung King chicken, those tasty soy-garlic marinated nuggets that are kicked up a notch with the toasty heat of dried chiles. And don't forget to experience the numbing buzz of Szechuan peppercorns by ordering a dish like the silky Ma Pa Tofu, which leaves the lips with a lingering tingle. As a bonus, Szechuan also has the bases covered on better-known Mandarin and Cantonese dishes, including Peking duck, a grand, labor-intensive dish that restaurants rarely have the wherewithal to offer. For $30, a whole duck comes split in half, skin glossy and crackling in delightful contrast to the tender flesh. Wrap the meat in a paper-thin pancake, garnish with cucumber, scallion, and plum sauce, and be sure to bring plenty of friends.