Sometimes you can hear the sound of sizzling woks in the kitchen of this Sichuan dining venture. It’s a good omen in Long Island City, which isn’t known for its Asian cuisine but may be soon, thanks to Hupo. The sleek space is narrow and long, with dark hardwood floors and lofty ceilings.
Such a quaint setting is an apt pairing for the small, focused menu that features regional favorites like spicy mapo tofu, house-made cold noodles slicked in a sweet and spicy chili oil, as well as Chungking spicy chicken. Nothing blasts of heat here, so spice junkies are unlikely to break a sweat. Still, dishes like stewed fish fillet in hot chili soup arrive chock-full of minced garlic and channel the kind of fiery, umami-driven complexity we crave from this cuisine.