The next time your best friend pretends she's not dieting but “cleansing her body of toxins” with a little bout of self-starvation, one-up her by embarking on an internal sweat lodge, otherwise known as Z&Y's fish with flaming chile oil. A bowl of liquid the happy, prosperous color of glowing coals arrives at the table, and when you reach into its depths to pull out fat, white pieces of fish, you must hold them over the bowl long enough for most — but not all — of the crimson oil to sluice off. The fish — cooked merely by pouring the hot broth and oil overtop — melts as if it were a bundle of unspun silk, and then the burn begins. It starts at the lips, makes your tongue involuntarily spasm, and spreads up and out onto the skin of your face. Your ears sweat. You can feel those PCBs and BPAs and all the other chemicals you're sure are poisoning your brain fly out like bees from a bear-threatened hive. You may not lose any weight, but you emerge from the restaurant purer of heart.
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