Tasty China (Marietta)

The mystique of Peter Chang’s brief but indelible reign as Tasty China’s opening chef in 2006 will apparently never fade. Every textural and spicy nuance of the restaurant’s Szechuan specialties—”hot and numbing” beef dishes, wonton soup in hot chili oil, cilantro fish rolls—is compared to how it tasted when Chang helmed the kitchen. Devotion to him isn’t isolated to Atlanta food circles, either, as recent articles about Chang in Oxford American and the New Yorker made clear.

In late March, Chang made unexpected appearances at Tasty China, reportedly to explore the idea of opening a restaurant with owner Yang Da He. But whether or not Chang reappears to cook in the metro area, Tasty China remains one of the finest regional Chinese restaurants around. Dry-fried eggplant, crisp and scorching, is an off-the-menu gem that consistently wows. And when the Szechuan peppercorns burn too fiercely, douse the flames with fish and sour cabbage soup.