Itinerant chef Peter Cheng launched Atlanta's craze for the chile-stoked dishes from China's Sichuan province at Tasty China in 2006. Yiquan Gu, though, has emerged as the cuisine's steadfast local champion. His restaurant, housed in a dowdy Buford Highway shopping center just north of I-285, impresses with its consistency and versatility. If you crave spicy, sear your taste buds on unctuous cumin lamb and fish fillets bathed in chile oil. Those less inclined to breathing fire will savor the tea-smoked duck, served in pieces on the bone or shredded and stir-fried with scallions and ginger. Be on the lookout for Gu's Dumplings, opening in the forthcoming Krog Street Market.
5750 Buford Highway, Doraville, 770-451-8118, gusbistro.com