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One of the hottest dishes around town is also one of the simplest: small whole roasted peppers, soft and full of seeds with tinges of char.

ChurchKey serves fire-roasted shishito peppers with an addictive sweet spicy harissa peanut “dippy sauce” for $6.50. Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring has them with robiola cheese and aged cherry balsamic for $8. And peppers served simply with sea salt can be found at Boqueria ($7), Estadio ($6), and Pulpo ($7). (Graffiato also previously served blistered sweet peppers with smoked paprika and capers.)

But the best bang for your buck is at Arlington’s Mala Tang, where Y&H tested out these spicy seared suckers on the new Sichuan menu last night. The $10.95 “Tiger Skin Hot Peppers” are stacked atop a giant plate with Chinese black vinegar. Admittedly, it’s not the prettiest of presentations. But there’s enough that you’ll easily have leftovers, which can’t be said for the tapas portions elsewhere.

Photo by Jessica Sidman