100 Degree Chinese Cuisine in Fairfax is a new spot for authentic Hunan cuisine. (By Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

With outsize red lights, gold frames and creative decor, the dining room is beautiful, compared to other strip mall Chinese restaurants in the area. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

The baby octopus in a jumble of bell peppers, jellylike sea cucumber and red chilies is tender, crisp — and blazing with fire. The dish demonstrates the Hunan penchant for bringing together different textures. (Scott Suchman/For the Washington Post)

Co-owner Min Chen makes dumplings in the kitchen. The dumplings are stuffed with one of four fillings and and either steamed or fried. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

Snowy flounder and pickled mustard greens in a bowl of chicken broth make for a soup that races from sweet to sour and back in every slurp. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

One bite of cold sliced beef marinated in vinegar and sugar and garnished with crushed peanuts and Chinese parsley reminded Sietsema of his visit to Beijing just before the Olympics. (Scott Suchman/ForThe Washington Post)

There are over 200 items on the restaurant’s menu. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)