Street Kitchen's veggie options hit Asia's highlights

Although Russo's, the spot next door, closed last month, Street Kitchen Asian Bistro has managed to capture a decent-sized lunch crowd in this strip of restaurants that sits, like an oasis, amid chains and office complexes. (Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria is another Street Kitchen neighbor.) The Street Kitchen menu draws from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and China, with some original fare mixed in, and there's plenty for the plant-based eater -- all conveniently marked with a "v."

Mid-day at Street Kitchen, you'll find groups of suited and heeled office workers treating themselves to a lunch outside of their offices; some might be brave enough to chance the patio despite the threat of rain overhead, and if it's nice outside, everyone will want a piece of the sunshine. Although the restaurant's busy, you can usually find a table.

The Shanghai stir-fried noodles pictured above were a lunch special last week; the dish featured greens, bean sprouts, caramelized onions and snap peas sauteed with noodles in a tangy, earthy sauce. The noodles were perfectly cooked, and the vegetables and sauce flavors blended nicely; we liked this dish better than the vegetarian ramen we've tried at Street Kitchen.

The vegetable gyoza were crispy and browned on one side from a pan-searing; the dumplings were delicious dipped in the vinegar sauce. But we're fairly certain the wrappers are not egg-free, so vegans might want to skip this dish. The vegetable caterpillar roll came with tempura asparagus, scallions and cucumber wrapped in sushi rice, topped with avocado and drizzled with a tangy sauce. The combination of the crispy tempura and the creamy avocado was delicious; we'll definitely order this again the next time we stop by for lunch.

Street Kitchen Asian Bistro is located in the Vallagio at Inverness and is open for lunch and dinner daily from Monday through Friday, open for dinner only on Saturday, and closed on Sunday; call 303-799-9800 or visit www.streetkitchenasianbistro.com.

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