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Pei Wei Asian Diner

For quick, comforting Asian pasta with panache, make a beeline to Pei Wei Asian Diner (5110 Buffalo Speedway, 713-661-0900) for "blazing noodles" ($6.45). Wide pappardelle-style noodles hit the hot wok with sizzle, and the char marks prove it. Laced in between are crisp, naturally sweet snap peas, giant coins of carrots, toothy broccoli florets, long beans and fresh tomato chunks. The ingredients coddle a perfect amount of silky tomato-black pepper sauce, a hot concoction that skirts the goopy-sauce syndrome. Flaps of leafy licorice-tasting basil and cilantro shreds add a final layer of garden snap to the contemporary dish. Choose from seafood, meat or tofu for a protein add-in. Or just stick with the vegetables for a clean taste that needs nothing except one or two mouths to polish it off.

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