There’s no denying that Sichuan food is hot these days, and tonight we visited one of the slightly lesser known contenders in the SGV. Hip Hot is the work of Chef/Owner “Tiana” Tiantian Qiu, and stands out from the rest for its emphasis on seafood (which generally isn’t super well represented in the cuisine).
About the Chef: Qiu spent many of her younger years in Shenzhen, and graduated from Shenzhen College of International Education (an international high school) in 2005. She later moved Stateside for schooling, and completed her studies at Case Western in 2009, majoring in business. After spending some time in Chengdu, Qiu started grad school at USC in 2012, finishing two years later. Following, she and boyfriend (now husband) Kai Lin faced the expiration of their student visas in a year’s time, and therefore needed to secure employment. The decision was thus made to start a restaurant, as although Qiu wasn’t trained as a chef, she’d always been interested in the biz and had hosted numerous dinner parties in her college years. She soon started working on getting Hip Hot off the ground, and the place ended up debuting not too long after, in March 2015.