Kwei Fei restaurant, Charleston SC
Just through the heavy wooden doors of this Sichuan pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar is the Pour House, an always-busy music venue where early evening soundchecks often fill the dining room with drum and bass noise. Even louder are the explosive flavors on the plate—the kitchen is unrepentant about not toning down the spice on the Sichuan beef and Yu Xiang pork slivers. For the full lip-numbing cocaine-face experience, start with the dry-rubbed Shaoxing chicken wings, which balance sweet, salty, savory, and spice with plenty of crunch. A few noodle bowls are adaptable for the more spice averse, but this is a place for adventurous fire hounds. On Sundays, brunch offers one of Charleston’s only dim sum experiences, including plenty of dumplings, scallion pancakes, and turnip cakes. After a meal, head to the Pour House deck for free daily concerts by local bands, before bigger-name bands take the indoor stage at night.