When I woke up Sunday after the hike, all my muscles were unified in protest. Rallying, we headed over to Arlington to meet a friend for Sichuan hotpot. Unfortunately the husband was felled by a bout of mild food poisoning and had to skip lunch. He also absolutely hates driving in Arlington, which was not helped by almost being hit by two different drivers. Arriving at the restaurant, my friend welcomed me with a warm hug and we settled into enjoying a leisurely lunch together.
Dan Dan Noodles
They had a fun area set up with toppings to mix together into dipping sauces.
We both had the spicy Sichuan broth. Mala Tang is odd and only uses individual sized hotpots. This is great if you have different spice level tolerances or food allergies, but it doesn't feel quite right some how.
We chose cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, renkon (lotus root), and shrimp/prawns.
Napa cabbage and boy choy is great in hot pot.
As the broth boils down, the waitress came by with a tea kettle full of chicken broth and added more to our pots. While that's great, it does dilute the spiciness. There was so much leftover, we took home the remaining ingredients in broth from each of our pots. This is definitely a more upscale experience than at its sister-restaurant, Uncle Liu's. They also have a long list of Sichuan dishes that sounded good, and the restaurant is located a lot closer than our other favorite Sichuan places in Falls Church.