Don't let the department stores and gold exchanges fool you; our suburban strip malls are peppered with authentic ethnic eateries. Sunflower Chinese Restaurant & Lounge in Dublin is one of my favorites and one of the most vegetarian friendly.

Don't let the department stores and gold exchanges fool you; our suburban strip malls are peppered with authentic ethnic eateries. Sunflower Chinese Restaurant & Lounge in Dublin is one of my favorites and one of the most vegetarian friendly.

Sunflower is best known for their dim sum, but they also offer a lengthy, Szechwan-leaning dinner menu, an entire section of which is devoted to meatless dishes. If you love garlicky, spicy dishes like I do, this is the place to get your fix.

No matter what you order, you'll receive a bowl of above-the-grade fried rice made with eggs, peas and carrots, perfectly seasoned with soy sauce. Good fried rice isn't easy to find. Often, I find myself scarfing it down only because I'm hungry and it's in front of me. But at Sunflower, I can't get enough.

During my last visit, I ordered the Garlic Bean Curd ($8.25). Lightly fried tofu, mushrooms and diced green onions are bathed in savory brown sauce. (The quality and sheer range of the sauces at Sunflower, from hearty and savory to absolutely mouth-scorching, is also worth noting.)

I prefer firm, crispy tofu, but Sunflower has won me over with their soft, tender bean curd. When drenched in one of the house sauces, it nearly melts on your tongue. (Yes, we're talking about tofu.)

My dish alone could have served three, as is the case with most entrees at Sunflower. So expect leftovers.

Like with the fried rice, your meal will end with a complimentary cup of chrysanthemum tea. It's a nice touch that trumps fortune cookies.

It's a little-known fact, but, if you'd rather eat in, you can actually order Sunflower online.