Whatever you choose, you must include an order of hot-and-sour noodles: a small bowl of cellophane noodles in a fiery red broth similar to the Chengdu spicy beef, though with a much stronger sour component. A scattering of chopped scallions gives the dish an extra brightness, and a handful of very small roasted nuts adds crunch and a depth of flavor. At the very least, the soup will clear your sinuses of winter's clutter. Or like me you might find that, like Vietnamese pho, it has the power, inexplicable but undeniable, to salve the soul.

Joy Luck Buffet's Chengdu Spicy Beef. Click here for a complete slideshow from The Joy Luck Buffet.
Jennifer Silverberg
Joy Luck Buffet's Chengdu Spicy Beef. Click here for a complete slideshow from The Joy Luck Buffet.

Location Info

Map

Joy Luck Buffet

8030 Manchester Road
Brentwood, MO 63144

Category: Restaurant > Chinese

Region: Brentwood

Details

Joy Luck Buffet
Hot-and-sour noodles...$4.99
Chengdu spicy beef...$10.99
Cumin lamb...$12.99
8030 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-645-9982.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

Regardless, the hot-and-sour noodles will put you in such a good mood that you might want to share some with a buffet diner at a neighboring table. If he doesn't like them, slip a Szechuan peppercorn or two onto his plate of crab Rangoon. If nothing else, they'll shut him up for a few minutes.

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