UPDATE II: I am obsessed with Little Szechuan. The food here is about as addictive as it gets, and wonderfully spicy, fresh and unusual.
I just tried the teatree mushrooms in dry pot ($12) which is probably the only place in the Twin Cities where you can get a dish like this. It consists of long, flower-like chewy mushrooms with bell peppers and scallions in an unusual garlic sauce. The mushrooms are extremely chewy, but I loved them, and again, this is a dish you won't find elsewhere.
I also love the "dan dan noodles" ($5) a simple dish of wheat noodles stir-fried in a spicy peanut sauce. The dish could have used more green onions, and maybe even some bell peppers, but it was otherwise extremely tasty. Make sure to ask for it without meat.
The "stir-fried A choy" ($9) is also really great. It's basically some type of vegetable, similar to Chinese broccoli, in a garlic oil sauce. I asked them to add Szechuan peppers to it and this made it a spicy marvel.
A quick summary of the rest of this review (in case you don't want to read further): the best dishes are the spicy Szechuan fried tofu, the quick-fried cucumbers, the dan dan noodles, mapo tofu, and teatree mushrooms in dry pot.
Update One: Little Szechuan has a new menu now though the veg. dishes appear to be mostly the same, albeit with a few new options. I tried the "lily squash" ($11.50) though I was unimpressed---it was under-cooked squash with some shallots, peapods and red bell peppers. Their was no sauce and the dish fell flat.
I also had the Szechuan potato fries ($5.50) which look great in the picture on the menu, but look a little more State Fair-pedestrian when they arrive (they even come in one of those plastic baskets you get at drive-ins and whatnot). That said, I liked their crunchy texture, and they were fairly addictive. The sauce they use is sort of spicy and sticky and adds even more appeal. The portion size is huge (enough for four or more people), so I wish they'd offer a half portion at half the price. On balance, I prefer the deliciously spicy quick-fried cucumbers ($5.50)
Original review: Little Szechuan is definitely not your ordinary Chinese restaurant though it may appear to be on pure looks alone. For one thing, the menu has unusual items such as lotus root, pea tips and bamboo tips, and you have to search pretty hard on the menu to find American-Chinese dishes (such as General Tso's), which are called "traditional" and are tacked onto one of the final menu pages in much smaller font size.
The first time I went I shared a House-style tofu ($9.95) and a stir-fried pea tips ($11.95) with a friend. The tofu was pretty tasty and had the perfect level of spiciness---just enough to make you feel it, but not enough to make you reach for your water after every bite. The dish itself consisted of lightly fried tofu slabs and lots of cabbage.
The pea tips were tasty, but I'm not sure this is a great dish in itself, as it consists of just tons of pea tips in a garlic sauce and nothing else. If it came in a smaller portion it might make for a good appetizer.
The second time I visited I got to try and share a few more dishes, including the ma po tofu ($9.95), Szechuan spicy tofu ($9.95), kung pao lotus root ($12.95) and quick-fried cucumbers ($5.50). The ma po was good and had an unusual tangy flavor; that said, I prefer the ma po at Evergreen, which has slightly better tofu and also mock pork in the mix (minced pork is often times added to the sauce of traditional ma po tofu). The Szechuan spicy tofu was excellent, with fried tofu, red bell peppers and scallions in a subtly sweet and spicy dry seasoning. The kung pao lotus root was okay, and I love lotus root (it's not commonly seen on menus), but I didn't think the brown sauce's flavor they used was great (too much corn starch, as well). Lastly, the quick-fried cucumbers were amazing---very simply stir-fried cucumbers in a soy sauce with dry red chilis. This would be a great appetizer with beer and a football game.
The service was fast and prompt though I've heard it gets busy on weekend nights. The customers comprised actual Chinese people and more than a few "in the know" Minnesotans.
I wish they offered mockmeat options, or even just mock duck. Also, they don't have brown rice, which is always a devastating blow to both my taste preference and my health. C'est la vie. Little Szechuan is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the Twin Cities though I think Evergreen in Minneapolis is still the reigning king.