Photo @chia_r_ios on Instagram

THE PASTRIES THAT populate the pastry cases at Sicilian-born pastry chef Diego Chiarello's La Sicilia bakery (515 Westheimer, Suite C) always put on a show. From saffron croissants with mascarpone orange vellutata filling topped with basil tuiles and crystallized basil to ciambella cakes in flavors like strawberry shortcake or matcha with freeze-dried raspberries and a white chocolate drizzle, Chiarello's delectable confectionary glitterati always sport their Sunday best.

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"WE'LL NEVER APOLOGIZE about where we come from. You shouldn't either," reads the website for young chef Benchawan Jabthong Painter's popular street-food-focused Thai restaurant Street to Kitchen (6501 Harrisburg Blvd), which has a cult following among local in-the-know Thai food aficionados and calls an unassuming strip center in the city's East End home. "We are unapologetically, authentically Thai."

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