Last week I reviewed Tony Hu’s Lao Hunan, the city’s only restaurant specializing in the “dry hot,” frequently pickled, often smoky cuisine of the southern Chinese province. I don’t mean to keep rhapsodizing but it’s one of the more interesting and delicious restaurants to open so far this year.

But while I was brooding over its creepy aura of Maostalgia (see below), I failed to mention how inexpensive it is: each time I visited among groups of a half dozen or so, the bill never topped more than $120. Here are few shots of particularly worthy dishes, some taken by the esteemed Dr. Peter Engler, and a few by some joker with an iPhone.

The Famous Hunan Chili in Black Bean Sauce pictured above will easily make my top 100 list this year. It’s Exhibit A in the case for the addictive, narcotic properties of capsaicin. I’ve ordered this dish three times, and on the single occasion there were leftovers, I was told they were incorporated into corned beef hash and consumed the following morning at breakfast.