Just off the Caesars Palace casino floor sits Beijing Noodle No. 9, a brilliant Chinese restaurant with noodle-pulling chefs beckoning you inside. Gargantuan fish tanks teaming with goldfish flank the entryway leading to a stark white room. The coup de grâce is the ornate, metal, stenciled ceiling, which delivers a disorienting assault on the senses.
Beijing’s menu is equally impressive, touching upon many of the eight storied Chinese cuisines, from southern Cantonese of Hong Kong fame to northern Jiangsu. But the most intriguing offerings are of the Sichuan variety, highlighted by fish in spicy garlic sauce. This mind-numbingly hot dish will alter your consciousness, much like the room itself.
Flaky flounder comes swimming in spicy red sauce rife with dried red chilies, ground white pepper and Sichuan peppercorns, the latter delivering its characteristic mouth-numb. Doubanjiang, a traditional fermented bean paste, adds additional spice with hints of fermented funk, while celery and Napa cabbage provide textural foil to the flavorful, fiery dish. Liberal use of white rice should ease the burn, which builds gradually as the meal proceeds.
Think of it as Red Bull for the soul, invigorating your palate and awakening your senses. Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace, 877-346-4642; 24/7.