Photo by Ian Froeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Joy Luck Buffet

The “secret” menu at Joy Luck Buffet isn’t really a secret. Still, if you didn’t already know, the smart move at this Brentwood staple — the only move, really — is to skip the buffet entirely and order instead from the menu of traditional Szechuan cuisine. If you’re a Szechuan novice, don’t fret: The menu includes a color photograph of almost every dish. Start with the (relatively) mild cumin lamb or dive into the deep end with one of the beef-tendon dishes or Chongqing chicken, dosed with numbing Szechuan peppercorns and more chiles than you’ve ever seen on one plate.