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Double Li - Szechuan cuisine across from LTH [closed]

Double Li - Szechuan cuisine across from LTH [closed]
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  • Post #151 - December 30th, 2009, 5:00 pm
    Post #151 - December 30th, 2009, 5:00 pm Post #151 - December 30th, 2009, 5:00 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    yellow truffle wrote:Regarding the "bearclaw tofu," if you are referring to what Ron mentioned in the post earlier (with photo), it is actually called "pocket tofu." BTW, this has chicken in it (purée'd into the tofu).


    Thanks for figuring out what I meant. :D

    What's odd is that the pocket tofu looks like a bearclaw (or paw) and the bearclaw tofu looks like a pocket. Unless by "claw" is meant the actual razor sharp nail on the ursine paw, in which case the triangular shape makes more sense.

    At any rate, I guess I'm going for the pocket, as it looks more tasty and I'm intrigued by the mixed-in chicken.


    It's probably too late for tonight, but there are three exceptional vegetable dishes not mentioned on your ordering plan; it just so happens each of them also involves meat. The shredded duck stir-fry with crispy roots and scallions is a favorite; the twice-cooked pork has more delicious leeks than comparable places, and the ma-la hot pots (baby octopus, they'll also do an all-mushroom version with the same spicing) of this quality are unique to Double Li. Good luck!
  • Post #152 - December 30th, 2009, 6:23 pm
    Post #152 - December 30th, 2009, 6:23 pm Post #152 - December 30th, 2009, 6:23 pm
    Not too late, Santander. I'll definitely add hot pot to the ordering list and have made note of the others. Thanks.

    Pondering post on the dominance of protein. I eat all animals, but it's kind of deadening to have every dish sporting prerequisite animal protein, like it wouldn't be eating without it.

    David "No attitude here, just feeling the weight of flesh, mostly my own" Hammond
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #153 - December 30th, 2009, 6:33 pm
    Post #153 - December 30th, 2009, 6:33 pm Post #153 - December 30th, 2009, 6:33 pm
    Two more suggestions; eggplant with garlic sauce, and snap peas. Both have no meat.

    BTW, I was just informed that the mapo tofu can be made without pork, but make sure that you tell them, no meat.
  • Post #154 - December 30th, 2009, 6:44 pm
    Post #154 - December 30th, 2009, 6:44 pm Post #154 - December 30th, 2009, 6:44 pm
    yellow truffle wrote:BTW, I was just informed that the mapo tofu can be made without pork, but make sure that you tell them, no meat.


    Just informed? :lol: Love it. Really appreciate the guidance. Snap peas sound like they'd be a good balance.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #155 - December 31st, 2009, 1:44 am
    Post #155 - December 31st, 2009, 1:44 am Post #155 - December 31st, 2009, 1:44 am
    I don't get pig ears that often, but I had thirds of these:

    Image

    It's a texture thing, and several ladies in the group demurred, but I just dug them a lot. So crunchy and porky, delicious, and cut into long, bacon-like strands, wow.

    I chatted with the waiter, and made enough eye contact (I think) to convince him (despite language barrier) that I wanted some good stuff, and when I pointed to the first item on the menu -- Beef Book Trip [sic] -- he lit up, said it was his favorite, and offered us a dish to try:

    Image

    I've never been a major fan of tripe, but this stuff was just excellent: some anise, a tiny bit of heat, killer. And those peanuts...Virginian? Also, a dish I had thirds on and could have kept going, if not for the thought of all that was to come.

    Will ponder and process the rest of the meal tomorrow, but I gotta say, this was an outstanding repast (as promised).
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #156 - December 31st, 2009, 10:54 am
    Post #156 - December 31st, 2009, 10:54 am Post #156 - December 31st, 2009, 10:54 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    yellow truffle wrote:BTW, I was just informed that the mapo tofu can be made without pork, but make sure that you tell them, no meat.


    Just informed? :lol: Love it. Really appreciate the guidance. Snap peas sound like they'd be a good balance.

    wife looking over shoulder.
  • Post #157 - December 31st, 2009, 12:00 pm
    Post #157 - December 31st, 2009, 12:00 pm Post #157 - December 31st, 2009, 12:00 pm
    I pretty much stopped taking pix after the initial plates, knowing that most of what we were going to have was already covered by more competent photogs.

    The Dry Chili Chicken was very good, though like others I was quite amazed by the seemingly 1-to-1 proportions of meat to chili pods…though I ate a lot of both, I left a lot of pods on the plate. As noted, this was one of those dishes that, once everyone stopped eating from it, still had a lot of hidden tasty clusters here and there.

    The Black Pepper Garlic Beef was one of those dishes I was glad I’d had (after reading everything in this thread about it, watching Sula’s video, etc.), but I gotta say it didn’t work for me. I had about three pieces and decided the flavors didn’t appeal. I have no rationale for this dislike; it simply was not to my taste. I will say this: the butter and garlic conjured odd seafood associations that were at odds with the meat before me.

    The long green beans provided a simple vegetal balance to the table – as I recall, they were basically just fried, without additional spicing, which was fine as there was a lot of flavor happening on the table.

    We had the Snow Fish, which was very delicate white fish that I wished we’d ordered with more heat – several in the party didn’t want things to get too hot, so we had to be selective about some dishes, dialing down the heat now and again…though I kept a bowl of hot sauce by my side for individualized dosing.

    Image

    Lamb with Cumin was very tasty, and I have had a combo somewhat like this at Spring World. It was excellent, in a way very simple and the relatively focused flavors of the meat and spice were hugely satisfying.

    I eat a lot of Mexican food, probably more than any other kind of “ethnic” cuisine, and so I associate cilantro, cumin and even heat with the culinary creations of our southern neighbor, and although I know that these ingredients are not uncommon in many parts of the world, it always pleasantly surprises me when I taste these familiar flavors in Chinese food, which I don’t eat nearly enough.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #158 - December 31st, 2009, 2:35 pm
    Post #158 - December 31st, 2009, 2:35 pm Post #158 - December 31st, 2009, 2:35 pm
    David Hammond wrote:I don't get pig ears that often, but I had thirds of these

    My dogs love those! :lol:

    David Hammond wrote:The Dry Chili Chicken was very good, though like others I was quite amazed by the seemingly 1-to-1 proportions of meat to chili pods…though I ate a lot of both, I left a lot of pods on the plate.

    Yup. What's odd is that it's not any spicier/hotter than many other dishes, despite the plethora of peppers. < shrug >
  • Post #159 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:37 pm
    Post #159 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:37 pm Post #159 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:37 pm
    I was part of a group of 11 who had a great lunch at Double Li yesterday. The lamb in cumin was mouth-numbingly spicy but pleasantly so and not over the top for my palate. Tender fried fish in chile oil was delectable. Cold, sliced beef appetizer, one of several items I'd not had before, was sensational. Another new dish for me, baby octopus, was terrific -- fiery and certainly the spiciest dish of the meal. Symphonic, twice-cooked pork (more like pork cooked 2 ways) was comprised of belly -- both cooked and cured -- that worked extremely well together. Another dish of house-made bacon was also wonderful. Even though they start as frozen, softshell crabs with chiles were delectable. Dry Chili Chicken was also excellent with good heat, lots of crunch and moist meat. Pocket tofu was light and deeply flavorful, which was no small feat given the plethora of spicy dishes on the table. We also had some perfectly-executed garlic greens that were full of flavor and tender without being mushy. Strange-flavor eggplant (I think it's actually called something else at Double Li) was out of this world, with complex, rich flavors and great texture. The ony dish I didn't love was, ironically, the Black Pepper Garlic Beef, which is normally a favorite of mine at Double Li. Yesterday's version tasted too much of raw garlic and had a slightly unpleasant burn to it. Still, it was served with some delicious blanched broccoli, which is always a deal-saver for me. :D

    It didn't hurt matters that my friend Steffi, the person who initially introduced me to Double Li, was in our group yesterday. She handled the ordering and did a typically fantastic job of it. In fact, from my vantage point, listening to her talking with our waitress, it sounded more like a negotiation than ordering. :D Still, I've been to Double Li many times without Steffi and have had plenty of success ordering on my own. Of course, comparisons to Lao Sze Chuan are inevitable but I'm not sure they're that relevant. There's a lot to love at Double Li and I get the feeling that after about 10 visits, I've only begun to scratch the surface.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #160 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:56 pm
    Post #160 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:56 pm Post #160 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:56 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I was part of a group of 11 who had a great lunch at Double Li yesterday. The lamb in cumin was mouth-numbingly spicy but pleasantly so and not over the top for my palate. Tender fried fish in chile oil was delectable. Cold, sliced beef appetizer, one of several items I'd not had before, was sensational. Another new dish for me, baby octopus, was terrific -- fiery and certainly the spiciest dish of the meal. Symphonic, twice-cooked pork (more like pork cooked 2 ways) was comprised of belly -- both cooked and cured -- that worked extremely well together. Another dish of house-made bacon was also wonderful. Even though they start as frozen, softshell crabs with chiles were delectable. Dry Chili Chicken was also excellent with good heat, lots of crunch and moist meat. Pocket tofu was light and deeply flavorful, which was no small feat given the plethora of spicy dishes on the table. We also had some perfectly-executed garlic greens that were full of flavor and tender without being mushy. Strange-flavor eggplant (I think it's actually called something else at Double Li) was out of this world, with complex, rich flavors and great texture. The ony dish I didn't love was, ironically, the Black Pepper Garlic Beef, which is normally a favorite of mine at Double Li. Yesterday's version tasted too much of raw garlic and had a slightly unpleasant burn to it. Still, it was served with some delicious blanched broccoli, which is always a deal-saver for me. :D

    It didn't hurt matters that my friend Steffi, the person who initially introduced me to Double Li, was in our group yesterday. She handled the ordering and did a typically fantastic job of it. In fact, from my vantage point, listening to her talking with our waitress, it sounded more like a negotiation than ordering. :D Still, I've been to Double Li many times without Steffi and have had plenty of success ordering on my own. Of course, comparisons to Lao Sze Chuan are inevitable but I'm not sure they're that relevant. There's a lot to love at Double Li and I get the feeling that after about 10 visits, I've only begun to scratch the surface.

    =R=

    Pics or it never happened. :wink:
  • Post #161 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:58 pm
    Post #161 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:58 pm Post #161 - January 3rd, 2010, 1:58 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:... Strange-flavor eggplant (I think it's actually called something else at Double Li) was out of this world, with complex, rich flavors and great texture. ...

    Eggplant in garlic sauce.
  • Post #162 - January 3rd, 2010, 2:36 pm
    Post #162 - January 3rd, 2010, 2:36 pm Post #162 - January 3rd, 2010, 2:36 pm
    If I may pick nits, the twice-cooked pork is actually cooked twice--boiled first, and then sliced and stir-fried. The Chinese for it is literally "return to the pot." Also, the garlic sauce may refer to yu xiang, or fish-scented style, rather than strange-flavor, or guai wei. Yu xiang eggplant is the dish so well-loved at Ed's Potsticker House, and indeed in much of China.
  • Post #163 - January 3rd, 2010, 3:37 pm
    Post #163 - January 3rd, 2010, 3:37 pm Post #163 - January 3rd, 2010, 3:37 pm
    yellow truffle wrote:Pics or it never happened. :wink:

    ronnie_suburban never takes pics.

    :wink:
  • Post #164 - January 3rd, 2010, 3:38 pm
    Post #164 - January 3rd, 2010, 3:38 pm Post #164 - January 3rd, 2010, 3:38 pm
    mtgl wrote:If I may pick nits, the twice-cooked pork is actually cooked twice--boiled first, and then sliced and stir-fried. The Chinese for it is literally "return to the pot."

    Thanks, for the clarification. I should have been more clear in my initial description. This dish was, I think, pork 2 ways, twice-cooked, as there seemed to be both cured and uncured belly in the dish. I've had twice-cooked pork before at other restaurants but this was a distinctive -- and very delicious -- rendition.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #165 - January 3rd, 2010, 6:05 pm
    Post #165 - January 3rd, 2010, 6:05 pm Post #165 - January 3rd, 2010, 6:05 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:It didn't hurt matters that my friend Steffi, the person who initially introduced me to Double Li, was in our group yesterday. She handled the ordering and did a typically fantastic job of it. In fact, from my vantage point, listening to her talking with our waitress, it sounded more like a negotiation than ordering. :D Still, I've been to Double Li many times without Steffi and have had plenty of success ordering on my own.

    I was fortunate enough to be at the Double Li lunch yesterday with Steffi ordering and, as Ronnie mentions, I've had really good luck at Double Li without her, but the couple of times I've been with her it seems as if the kitchen ratchets up the level just a bit.

    Speaking of lunch, I've been craving Double Li's Fish Fillet in Chili Broth, I actually had a dream about the double-fisted Szechuan pepper/chili pepper punch and woke up with a smile on my face. Saturday's fish fillet in chili broth really scratched the itch.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #166 - April 15th, 2010, 2:05 pm
    Post #166 - April 15th, 2010, 2:05 pm Post #166 - April 15th, 2010, 2:05 pm
    jimswside wrote:Unfortunately went with plan "b" this past Friday, and didnt get down to Double Li, however I had such a good time at last years x-mas eve event @ Lao Szechuan that I have stolen this idea, and am making "Chinatown on x-mas eve" a family tradition.

    Made a reservation last night for Double Li for x-mas eve, and because of this thread asked Ben to have a dungeness crab on hand for the deep fried version pictured here. I cant wait.


    ronnie_suburban wrote:Image


    I am planning a meal for seven at Double Li. I have yet to try this Dungeness crab dish and am wondering if its the best thing to order for a group of this size. Would there be enough of one plate to go around? Seems unlikely. Could order two, but trying to keep the tab manageable for everyone. I see that they also have a shrimp dish with the same prep, that's my backup option. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  • Post #167 - April 15th, 2010, 2:47 pm
    Post #167 - April 15th, 2010, 2:47 pm Post #167 - April 15th, 2010, 2:47 pm
    i attended the LTH lunch at Double Li recently and I have to say that this was not one of my favorites, for the very reason that it was difficult to share (there are only so many "choice" pieces and then a bunch of little claw segments that you have to pick at...) I'm sure this dish is wonderful when shared by two people but more than that and you probably don't really get the full effect..

    The rest of our dishes were wonderful though so I still highly recommend for a group!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #168 - April 15th, 2010, 2:55 pm
    Post #168 - April 15th, 2010, 2:55 pm Post #168 - April 15th, 2010, 2:55 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:i attended the LTH lunch at Double Li recently and I have to say that this was not one of my favorites, for the very reason that it was difficult to share (there are only so many "choice" pieces and then a bunch of little claw segments that you have to pick at...) I'm sure this dish is wonderful when shared by two people but more than that and you probably don't really get the full effect..

    The rest of our dishes were wonderful though so I still highly recommend for a group!

    I think it's tasty but the work : reward ratio is very high and the overall yield is relatively low. Not a great item for a group who's sharing, methinks.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #169 - April 15th, 2010, 3:07 pm
    Post #169 - April 15th, 2010, 3:07 pm Post #169 - April 15th, 2010, 3:07 pm
    I remember reading that they offer a similar preparation of shrimp. I have to say though it was tough to share, the crab was really outstanding. I haven't tried it with shrimp, but that might be a good alternative.
  • Post #170 - April 15th, 2010, 3:29 pm
    Post #170 - April 15th, 2010, 3:29 pm Post #170 - April 15th, 2010, 3:29 pm
    There are at least four dishes that offer the preserved egg coating: crab, lobster, shrimp, and corn.

    The crab is tops in the seafood department. Lobster is okay, but it usually comes out drier than the crab. They have another preparation for the lobster (steamed with garlic sauce, IIRC) which is much better. I have not have had much luck with the shrimp (and I gave it man attempts). The corn dish is made up of individual corn kernels that are coated with the preserved egg yolk. It comes out in a pie plate and looks like large yellow peas. Not at all exciting to look at, but pretty tasty. This is a new dish, and is becoming one of my favorites.

    As stated by the folks above, the crab with preserved egg is going to be difficult to share with a large group, but they will be able to get a taste. If you want more, order a second one. There is also another crab dish that is worth noting, the dry chili soft shell crab. Its like the dry chili chicken, but crabby. :D

    Hope this helps in your decision making.
  • Post #171 - April 20th, 2010, 10:42 am
    Post #171 - April 20th, 2010, 10:42 am Post #171 - April 20th, 2010, 10:42 am
    Oh my. I love this thread... oh the pictures! Double Li is my absolute favorite restaurant in Chinatown. I may just have to insist we head there for dinner tonight thanks to this thread catching my eye... I think the pork tenderloin we planned to have will be fine tomorrow ;)
  • Post #172 - April 20th, 2010, 11:49 am
    Post #172 - April 20th, 2010, 11:49 am Post #172 - April 20th, 2010, 11:49 am
    Let me add a couple of notes on take-out selection from D-L:

    shredded duck stir-fly holds up very nicely a good hour after ordering;

    still tasty but not so well texture-wise (as could probably be predicted), eggplant in garlic sauce:

    plus, here's a possible criterion for what constitutes proper Szechwan cookery (which applies to both of the above):

    No matter how much rice you add to the dish, the heat level refuses to change.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #173 - April 25th, 2010, 6:57 pm
    Post #173 - April 25th, 2010, 6:57 pm Post #173 - April 25th, 2010, 6:57 pm
    As much as I have loved Double Li up to now, my late dinner this past Friday may have been the best meal I've ever had there. Cold, spicy beef and tendon was fiery and deeply flavorful with a perfect amount of chew. Chengdu Dumplings -- served in a murkier and funkier-than-I-remember broth -- were tender and delectable. They were so great, we ordered a second round of them. Fish in Chile Oil was a total endorphin rush, delivering explosive flavors and mouth-numbing heat. Twice cooked pork was a savory mix of distinctive flavors and satisfying textures. Lamb with cumin was intense, aromatic and just out of this world. We also ordered a tofu dish, which didn't seem to be either Bear Claw or the Pocket. I have no idea what it was actually called but long after I was full, I couldn't stop eating it. It consisted of flat triangles of tofu which had been fried and then mixed into a clear, brown savory sauce.

    All in all, a fantastic meal, which I'm still thinking about 2 days later.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #174 - April 26th, 2010, 6:51 am
    Post #174 - April 26th, 2010, 6:51 am Post #174 - April 26th, 2010, 6:51 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As much as I have loved Double Li up to now, my late dinner this past Friday may have been the best meal I've ever had there. Cold, spicy beef and tendon was fiery and deeply flavorful with a perfect amount of chew. Chengdu Dumplings -- served in a murkier and funkier-than-I-remember broth -- were tender and delectable. They were so great, we ordered a second round of them. Fish in Chile Oil was a total endorphin rush, delivering explosive flavors and mouth-numbing heat. Twice cooked pork was a savory mix of distinctive flavors and satisfying textures. Lamb with cumin was intense, aromatic and just out of this world. We also ordered a tofu dish, which didn't seem to be either Bear Claw or the Pocket. I have no idea what it was actually called but long after I was full, I couldn't stop eating it. It consisted of flat triangles of tofu which had been fried and then mixed into a clear, brown savory sauce.

    All in all, a fantastic meal, which I'm still thinking about 2 days later.

    =R=

    pics or it never happened.
  • Post #175 - April 26th, 2010, 6:57 am
    Post #175 - April 26th, 2010, 6:57 am Post #175 - April 26th, 2010, 6:57 am
    yellow truffle wrote:pics or it never happened.


    shoot... if that was the case more than half of all the meals cooked or consumed & then posted about on LTH "never happened". :lol:
  • Post #176 - April 26th, 2010, 8:40 am
    Post #176 - April 26th, 2010, 8:40 am Post #176 - April 26th, 2010, 8:40 am
    jimswside wrote:
    yellow truffle wrote:pics or it never happened.


    shoot... if that was the case more than half of all the meals cooked or consumed & then posted about on LTH "never happened". :lol:

    LOL! Sheesh, tough crowd! :D

    What if I have witnesses? Does that count?

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #177 - April 26th, 2010, 8:43 am
    Post #177 - April 26th, 2010, 8:43 am Post #177 - April 26th, 2010, 8:43 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    What if I have witnesses? Does that count?



    this time... :P

    you know I live vicariously through you and other folks that get out alot more than I do.
  • Post #178 - April 26th, 2010, 5:17 pm
    Post #178 - April 26th, 2010, 5:17 pm Post #178 - April 26th, 2010, 5:17 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:What if I have witnesses? Does that count?
    ---> Testify!

    Both Mr. Li's were on hand and really pumping out the scovilles.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #179 - April 26th, 2010, 6:37 pm
    Post #179 - April 26th, 2010, 6:37 pm Post #179 - April 26th, 2010, 6:37 pm
    :lol:
    For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
  • Post #180 - October 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    Post #180 - October 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm Post #180 - October 7th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    Visited Double Li a couple of weeks ago and Ben was in virtuoso form.

    A symphony of pepper, vinegar, different cooking techniques - it was the first time that I really experienced the full range of Szechwan cooking done very well, as I have imagined it from reading Fuchsia Dunlop. Each dish contained at least half of the seasoning notes in common with the other dishes, and yet each stood out as unique. In addition, the flavors were bright, vibrant, and delicious.

    Appetizers, rabbit in chile sauce and szechwan dumplings.

    Mains, country style squid, with the incandescent pepper medley, duck with chile was tarter, with chinese celery slices, lightly peppery and fresh, garlic eggplant continued the vinegar notes along with some darker sauce and pepper and garlic notes, and finally szechwan green beans were beautfully blistered and crunchy with good heat and the counterpoint of unctuous pork.

    Simply the best meal I have had in a restaurant this year, not because any one dish was the best single dish, but because each was excellent, good ingredients, perfect technique and a wonderful blend of complement and contrast.

    Wow.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy

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