Anyone fortunate enough to walk the streets of Chengdu, known informally throughout China as ‘Land of Abundance,’ cannot help but be surprised to discover that there is still such a place. It's a city that seems to have been situated at the precise boundary between earth and the heavens. If this is true of Chengdu as a city, it's even more true of its great gift to the world: Sichuan cuisine. It's a style of cooking that recognizes no social hierarchies or distinctions: while it's perfectly at home in the imperial palace, long rainy alleyways can accommodate it equally well, and even street stalls suffice. Sichuan cuisine has its own gravitational attraction, and Alley 41 is emblematic of the spirit of the Sichuan region.