Ripert gets his fill
Next up is is a dinner with Go Sa, the curator of the local Sichuan Cuisine Museum. The three guzzle lager and down pickled chicken feet with gusto as Ripert's spice tolerance takes a serious beating.
"The dish, in practical terms, is a game of finding the bits of chicken in the mountain of ass-burning goodness," relishes Bourdain, describing an overflowing plate of lazi ji (literally, "spicy chicken"). "It's fun for the whole family."
This scenario is repeated many times over. Course after course, restaurant after restaurant, food cart after food cart, endurance is tested and spice-induced hallucinations become second nature. Bourdain bullies his buddy into hotter and hotter dishes like a sadistic version of Andrew Zimmern, upping the ante with each stop.