Fish heads pop up in many New York restaurants. Duck heads, too, are not so uncommon; just nose around Flushing. But to face down "old mom's rabbit head at Chengdu Airport" ($4 each), you must brave the Theater District — indeed, Restaurant Row itself. (Though Grand Sichuan 46 is one of a loose-knit chain of restaurants, it seems that only the Jersey City location has also included rabbit head on the menu.) The head is split lengthwise, so you and a tablemate can more easily pick at the dark meat inside the tiny jowls, suck on the peppery sauce trapped in nooks and crannies, and scoop out the tiny yolklike brain. It's one of your messier appetizers, if you're still willing to call it appetizing.
Owing to the rabbit head's infamy — on the menu, it's billed as "Travel Channel's Bizarre Food featuring Chengdu specialty for adventurous eaters and fans" — on occasion it sells out for two or three days at a time. Best to call in advance. Grand Sichuan 46 also delivers, with a $10 minimum; three heads will do the trick.
I tracked down this rabbit for a small sidebar to another writer's article on whole-head dining in Beijing, which appears in the April 17, 2013 edition of The New York Times.
Grand Sichuan 46
368 West 46th St. (Eighth-Ninth Aves.), Manhattan