The tiny note in the corner of the menu at DaLat Restaurant calls it “transcendental pho,” a “spiritual” dish. It’s a regular bowl of pho, sure, except for one important change: a sesame seed-size dab of concentrated capsaicin, a compound found in chile peppers, delivered tableside by a server wearing surgical gloves and wielding an eyedropper. The first spoonful led to a coughing fit; by the third, the left side of my bottom lip was numb. Five scoops in and I was stockpiling noodles and beef, hoping to dampen the broth’s heat. During my entire lunch, a tear propped in the corner of my right eye. As I finished the soup, a woman at the table next to me started complaining about her boss not letting her take Friday off. I turned to her and spewed fire out of my mouth, scorching the table and quieting her complaints.