Divine Incense pork and the grand dining room at Hunan Taste (Photo by Rey Lopez)
Divine Incense pork and the grand dining room at Hunan Taste (Photo by Rey Lopez)

Hunan Taste
Chinese / $$ / 10160 Fairfax Blvd., Fairfax

Sometimes on a first visit to restaurant, you order whatever you’re craving. And sometimes you order the dishes you’ve read about. The talk surrounding Hunan Taste, a grand, high-ceilinged, red-walled restaurant supporting more than 15 sparkly chandeliers, points to Divine Incense Pork. If you’re used to ordering from the closest take-out shop, it’s a dish that can upend your notions of Chinese food: tender curls of fried pork belly decorated with fried flakes of mint. It’s a little sweet, porky, but without the smoke of bacon.

A casserole of tea tree mushrooms—little caps with long tendrils that squeak between the teeth like green beans—includes fatty bits of pork, garlic slivers and chilies balancing spice with intrigue.

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(November 2015)

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