The Tasteful Kitchen vegetarian restaurant is expanding its menu and adding Southwestern flavors when it returns from summer break next Tuesday.

The downtown restaurant at 722 N. Stone Ave. will be serving up black bean croquettes paired with a slow-cooked rojas napoles — peppers and cactus. Another new entrée features sweet potatoes roasted in chiles and cocoa.

“We are basically going back to the roots of my culinary inspiration that stems from the desert Southwest,” said chef-owner Sigret Thompson, who owns the 2½-year old restaurant with her sister, Keanne Thompson.

The new dishes join a menu that includes a potato bruschetta stack drizzled with a red pepper coulis and a roasted vegetable ratatouille served with organic polenta and herb walnut pesto. Entrees run $5 to $25.

Tasteful Kitchen, which seats 25, serves dinner only, from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Reservations are encouraged: 250-9600 or click here.

See the full story and more restaurant news in Thursday's Caliente.