Food & Drink

Han Dynasty

Remaining committed to anything's tough, from New Year's resolutions, to relationships, to that insane asylum whose window you just can't seem to stop climbing out whenever there's a full moon and linens on the bed. For Chinese dishes committed to authentic spice characteristics, hit Han Dynasty.Redoing the narrow Old City haunt last occupied by Joe's Peking Duck, Han's the namesake of Taiwanese-born veteran Szechuan chef/owner Han Chiang, who's created a 60-seater with yellow walls, dark wood flooring, and hand-blown glass lamps, serving 60+ authentic dishes in 14 styles, all steadfastly maintaining the spice levels (ranked 1-10) Han considers unalterable due to the delicate relationships among each aspect of the dish, which you intend to break up, with your 'sticks. Things start off hot with fried Taiwanese sausage, then move to cold apps like rabbit w/ peanuts (8 on spice scale) or beef & tripe in chili oil (6); and pork belly in garlic sauce, whose rating of 3 is higher than anything Han serves up Salt 'n' Pepper Style, designed for those who refuse to Push It. Larger plates generally consist of beef, shrimp, pork, seafood, or lamb done in your preferred cooking style, from Double Cooked w/ leeks & hot peppers in black bean sauce & chili oil (scoring a tepid 2), to the mid-range 6 of Pickled Chili or Cumin Crusted stir fry, and also include a Comaneci-esque 10: rabbit served in a mini-wok and cooked with a spicy hot pot sauce w/ black mushrooms, bamboo shoots, snow peas & bell peppers, know as the Dry Pot, which is still worth enjoying, even if you haven't run out of the good stuff.Though presently a BYO operation, Han's applied for a booze permit which they expect by early spring -- so, plenty of time to bone up on your sheep-shank and cheeking your meds.