The inspiration behind Mala Tang is Sichuan Master Chef Liu Chaosheng’s hometown of Chengdu. Here you'll find the streets filled with diners sitting at tables gathering around bubbling hot pots, in which dozens of dried chilies bob up and down in an oily red broth. <br /><br />The hot pot itself is a pan that sits on a portable burner, surrounded by an array of small plates piled high with fresh ingredients. Guests select pieces of food and drop them into the broth to cook, and then dip them into delicious sauces. <br /><br />For the main hot pot course, Mala Tang serves a variety of proteins including chicken, lamb, all-natural beef, and fresh seafood; starches such as sweet potato noodles, and a plethora of vegetables ranging from bok choy to lotus roots. Those who are "afraid of the chili heat," as the Chengdu locals jokingly warn incoming travelers, can tone down the mala flavor with a mild version of the cooking broth.