I can never say no to Sze Chuan cuisine and La Zi Ji has gotta be one of my fave dish. Paradise Dynasty has a great rendition of the dish albeit it is a little toned down, possibly to cater to the local taste buds; It has a little less kick than the ones I've tried and it leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste. The chicken is always nicely done too- not too oily, sufficiently crispy.
I've always had a thing for spicy food so when a friend introduced me to the La Zi Ji at Fat Bird, I fell in love with it immediately! Nothing beats a well-balanced La Zi Ji dish- crispy diced chicken, just the right amount of peppercorn and spiciness enough to make you sit up. I think Fat Bird got it all right. Definitely my fave one in town :D
The cheesy xiao long bao ($9.80 for 6) is my favorite flavor as it really is quite cheesy. The black truffle version ($13.80 for 6) is a bit mushroomy and not really what I enjoy (I love truffle but dislike mushrooms), though I could see some people liking it.
The laziji at Si Chuan Duo Hua is an excellent balance of crispy, tender, and flavor. You can definitely tell they put thought into the dish by not going overboard in any one area, though some may find the spiciness level a bit on the high side. Overall a fantastic dish at a great restaurant!
Another version of the dish that is quite different than the rest, Xie Lao Song's laziji is neither super crispy nor terribly spicy. Although that sounds uncharacteristic of the dish, the overall texture and flavor combine to yield a fantastic taste that makes me torn between which version I prefer. Highly recommended and my guests love it as well.
The overall taste and texture is very similar to that of Fat Bird's laziji down the street, but it comes at a slightly higher price point ($14 vs. $12). I'm not sure if it was just the dish or the overall meal, but I seem to prefer the version at Fat Bird better.
This is perhaps the most unique and balanced laziji I've had, and quite possibly my favorite. It manages to be crispy without being overly fried, and I really love the slight use of sugar to round the flavor out a bit. Paradise Dynasty's version is a bit less 'intense' than a lot of other places, but given how flavorful the dish is by nature that is a welcome change.
Fat Bird is my go-to place for a great laziji. It is quite crispy in texture and is very flavorful. Nothing too fancy, just nicely cooked and fairly priced. Beware that it can get VERY spicy, so let the staff know if you want it toned down a level or two.