Great Wall Szechuan House Restaurant, web site, 1527 14th Street NW, Washington, DC, 202-797-8888, usually open (Metro Trip Planner – opens in new window) [Google | WaPo | City Paper | MenuPages | Yelp]
Updated July 2011
Most of the food is the usual junk. Their ma-la dishes, now posted on a real menu, are quite potent. Get the bean sprouts and the double cooked pork and the fish with tofu. The cucumber is good. It’s not as good as the best suburban places, but a step ahead of anything else in DC. Quite authentic, numbing, and very cheap. They have evolved from neighborhood ghetto take-out to a Chinese and yuppie sit down.
Most of the food is the usual junk. Their nine ma-la dishes, posted on a small menu on the take-out window, are another story altogether. Get the bean sprouts and the double cooked pork. Quite authentic. They’ve got the whole numbing bit down pat. Very cheap. There’s not a lot of variety here, but if you care about real Chinese food this is a place you must visit. Usually it is empty, but the proprietor tells me they have been around since 2002. Mostly they serve the neighborhood with take-out.