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Chili fried rice

Image: Megha Tejpal

Thai food is already a go-to favorite for most, but Songkran Thai Kitchen makes an extra effort to welcome vegetarian guests with meatless menu available at lunch and dinner. The separate bill of fare, which includes both gluten-free and vegetarian choices, offers a wide variety of starters, mains, sides, and curry and noodle dishes.

Executive chef Jett Hurapan wows diners with such out-of-the-box vegetarian offerings as the spicy wok tofu and yellow curry with turnip cakes and eggplant. Traditional dishes include a generous portion of pad thai pak, stir-fried with egg and broccoli instead of the usual shrimp or chicken, and the chile fried rice with optional egg. The clay pot crispy tofu with red curry and pineapple is a fantastic choice with just a hint of sweetness to offset the spice. A list of savory sides, including wok chile green beans and stir-fried spicy eggplant are tasty accompaniments for the table—ones even carnivorous diners will enjoy.

Songkran offers an upscale dining experience with a strong focus on fresh, authentic Thai food. Both locations (Uptown Park and the newest in Sugar Land) are intimate and serene with trendy Asian-inspired decor.

The bar program features a list of international beers perfect for pairing with the sometimes-spicy dishes. Bangkok-made Singha is a German-style lager with a light body and crisp finish, while the Japanese Sapporo is a rice lager with a refined bitterness. In the way of hard liquor, you'll find many of the same fragrant herbs integrated in the cocktails. The Black Basil made with Pyrat XO rum, tamarind syrup, lemon juice and Thai basil is the perfect compliment to any meatless dish, on Monday or otherwise.

Songkran Thai Kitchen, 1101-1108 Uptown Park Blvd., 713-993-9096, songkranthaikitchen.com.

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