Trending Japanese Spots in H-Town

There are a lot of new Japanese spots in Houston.  To be fair and honest with you, UCHI (with their in-house filtered water and hip-hop music playlist) has ALL my loyalty, like every last drip of it.  So it is almost hard to even give new Japanese spots a fair chance, BUT, I always do.  So KUU, KA Sushi, MF Sushi, and Izakaya have all been “trending” recently.  Here is the deal about each of them ( I ranked them in order from best to least-best), but I think you should try them out for yourself.

No. 1:  MF SUSHI (Museum District)

MF Sushi Website

The elegant sushi bar photographed below, overall ambiance, and service are all on point.  #perfectdatenight.  This place is known for its Nigri.  Each bite is already seasoned uniquely, no need to dip in soy sauce or add wasabi.  Go for a night of nigiri and you will not be disappointed.  Photographed below is the sake (salmon) and yellow tail.  Both were yum, and potentially the best nigri bites I have ever had.

No. 2:  KUU (Memorial Hospital Area)

KUU Website

I got to sample some items here as a blogger with the Houston Food Blogger Collective.  (Why is life so nice to me!?)  This new Sushi spot has been highly anticipated because of Chef Adison Lee, who trained at Nobu under Nobu Matsuhisa.  My favorite items that I tried were the cold plates that featured sashimi, like the ones photographed below, but they are a pretty penny for a small bite, starting at $15.  Without a doubt, the ambiance & service are on point.  If I lived in the area, I would be in more often.

No. 3: KA SUSHI (The Heights)

KA Sushi Website

When it comes to sushi, I am most picky about my rolls.  A roll stuffed with extras (tempura fried xyz, cream cheese) and topped with mayo, etc. aren’t really my thing.  So the Dirty South roll (crawfish, salmon, and spicy tuna), which is one of their top sellers, was an overload.  However, I think the cooked non-sushi items at KA Sushi would be worth the visit.  I loved the shishito peppers, photographed below, and they are only $5.  I was not a big fan of the karaage (fried chicken) but Uchi kills that dish. Even though I am not crazy about how this restaurant is set up (one small rectangular dining room), if i lived in the Heights, I’d give it a try.

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No. 4: Izakaya (Midtown) 

Izakaya Website

I caught up with an old friend at this place for a week night dinner, and we were both underwhelmed and found everything a bit salty.  BUT, this place has been all over various media sources, in part because it is operated by the same group as Kata Robata & Azuma, two Sushi “power houses” in Houston.   Photographed below is the Duck and Shrimp Shumai (dumplings).   I also had the street corn and the fries.  I see this being the kind of place you have a few beers, and snack on Asian-inspired “junk food” like the fries and corn.  Overall, it is a good much-needed addition to Midtown, and I love the expanding restaurant options popping up on Gray St.

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