Go for the burn

Lifestyle and LeisureCookingDining and DrinkingRestaurants

Raj Darbar
"Can I tell you how much I absolutely love this place? I actually placed a carryout order and requested extra-hot food. Most places agree to do this but always tone it down for American palates--not these guys. My boyfriend tells me the only time I ever display signs of sheer delight while eating is when I eat food from this place. That is saying a lot because I'm very picky." --M.Q.

Opera
"It's nice to have spicy food that is actually spicy. The service was right on the money. The hostess was pleasant and got us in on time, and our server, Sam, made us feel like we were the only ones in the place." --John I.

Pot Pan
"If you love spicy food like my friends and I do, you won't be disappointed. Also, all the foods are excellent and high quality. Pot Pan is a jewel." --Keri M.

Jitlada Thai House
"I ordered the red curry and it was among the best I've ever tasted. I like spicy food but, this being my first time here, I was cautious and ordered my dish prepared medium. Well, my meal turned out spicy enough, and included some hot red peppers instead of the jalapenos so common at many Thai eateries in these parts. These peppers, combined with the basil leaves and the curry sauce, made for a very flavorful meal. The portions are not particularly large, but the quality is excellent. I will definitely go back." --Dan D.

Rise
"Although the service was very slow, the food was great. The spicy calamari was very good. We had a variety of sushi rolls and were pleased with all of them, especially the spicy Rise sushi." --Jackie G.

Indian Garden
"This is the best Indian food in Chicago without a doubt. If you like spicy, go for the vindaloo. For tandoori-style chicken, go for the murg shikari, which is excellent. You won't be disappointed at Indian Garden." --Jordan T.

Monaco
"This place has the best spicy beef noodles in Chicago. It is so good. All my family loves it, and the grilled pork chop and shrimp are delicious too." --Cindy T.

Mandarin Chef/Lao Sze Chuan
"They have absolutely the most wonderful Szechwan food! We tried the dong-po, steamed pork elbow (also very spicy and tasty), Szechwan string beans and the ma po with tofu. Even though it was too spicy for me, my friends loved it." --David L.

Lutz Continental Cafe
"A very cozy restaurant. The waitresses are dressed in uniform like Edwardian maids. The goulash is wonderfully spicy. The seafood crepe was a little too creamy, but still good." --L.C.

P.S. Bangkok
"Excellent food and great service. You might miss it walking down the street, but once you've found it, it's pure joy. Great variety. I love the spicy curries." --F.S.

Luc Thang
"This is a terrific neighborhood place--short on atmosphere but high on flavor and value. My pal, a spicy-food aficionado, loved the way they spiced up his noodle dish." --Charlie O.

Ezuli
"Ezuli should be on anybody's list if they enjoy good Caribbean fare, especially jerk chicken. That's usually the only reason I come here--for the jerk chicken sandwich and their sweet potato fries--both offer amazing taste and freshness. The combination of a perfectly char-grilled chicken breast with the sweet/spicy jerk seasoning is unrivaled." --P.O.

Heaven on Seven on Rush
"This is some of the best food I've had. The andouille sausage is incredible, as is the gumbo. I recommend the crab cake and the fried shrimp po' boy. Honestly, the service is just OK. The food is incredible!" --Gene G.

Compiled by Christine Badowski.

Originally published Jan. 23, 2003.

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