Illustration by Bob AulThere's nothing quite like the rush of eating something so spicy-hot that it feels like the band Great White performed on your tonsils. So here are five items guaranteed to make you spit flame like Gene Simmons in his heyday. In most cases, the establishments mentioned will make these dishes even hotter, if you ask—and if you care to live dangerously.
•BLUE AGAVE, 18601 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 970-5095. Arizona chicken mole enchiladas featuring blue-corn tortillas topped in dark mole sauce and drizzled with sour cream ($8.95). Key ingredient: chile negro, a dried-black chile that sneaks up on you right about the time the sweetness of the mole wears off. •CURRY HOUSE, 10953 Meridian Dr., Cypress, (714) 527-6224. Curry is the most popular dish in Japanese homes, though their idea of curry is milder than the Indian variety—except for this Curry House hottie: ginger chicken curry ($9.95) with enough ginger to choke a donkey. Driving home afterward with the windows rolled up, it could easily be considered a weapon of mass destruction. •SHELLY'S COURTHOUSE BISTRO, 400 W. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 543-9821. Their jambalaya ($13.95), with shrimp, rice, andouille sausage and Cajun hot peppers, will cause the most stoic jurist to sweat like Dick Cheney on a Stairmaster. •YI-DYNASTY KOREAN BBQ HOUSE, 1701 Corinthian Way, Ste. E, Newport Beach, (949) 797-9292. Red-pepper paste stew ($10), with potatoes, zucchini, onions, tofu and a particularly potent soybean paste, which—along with the red peppers—creates a tasty form of rocket fuel. •NATRAJ, 24861 Alicia Pkwy., Laguna Hills, (949) 581-4200. Curl your socks with their chicken vindaloo ($12.95), a sour, tomatoey curry with a combination of spices that'll make your ears steam like Curly's in a Three Stooges episode. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.