by Michael Hsu, 01/01/2010
Dungeness crab with sticky rice at Imperial Palace. Photo: Phil Kline
One of Flushing's main draws is its vast selection of authentic cuisine from all parts of China and beyond. To experience the taste of ma la—the uniquely spicy, numbing flavor that comes from Szechuan peppercorns—stop by Hunan House or Spicy & Tasty and order the ma pa tofu (completely different from the Chinese-takeout variety) or fuqi feipian (a dish that renders the oft-neglected parts of the cow superspicy). Imperial Palace is known for stellar Cantonese seafood dishes (its Dungeness crab with sticky rice is the stuff of legend), while San Soo Kap San, a Korean restaurant, serves a hot kimchi soup flanked by the array of side dishes that Korean fare is known for. To cool down with something sweet, head over to the Flushing Mall's food court, where S&C Shaved Ice serves Taiwanese-style shaved ice with your choice of exotic toppings, including a variety of sweetened legumes (red beans, mung beans, peanuts), sweetened condensed milk and herbal jelly.