The sushi artisans at Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar assemble innovative Japanese dishes and artfully plated, seaweed-wrapped rolls during lunch and dinner hours. In Azuma’s signature roll ($11)—the first listed on its extensive menu—tuna, salmon, and whitefish get to know avocado and chili oil by virtue of sharing the same seaweed wrap, an orientation activity popularized in the Navy. The John Doe roll ($14) belies its name with bursts of spicy yellowtail and pepper tuna, and Azuma’s signature gazpacho ($6) cools palates with a soup of salmon, mango, avocado, and tomato juice. For hot dishes, the restaurant's waiters serve up a whole, grilled squid ($9), its 200 yards blanketed in spicy miso and ginger soy sauce. Robata-grilled specialties include eggplant skewers coated in a sweet, miso glaze ($3) and Alaskan black cod simmering in a miso marinade ($14).
In 2008, brothers Yuen and Peter Yung opened the first How Do You Roll? restaurant, devoting it to inventive, customizable sushi. Just five years later, the eatery has expanded to multiple locations across four states—including a spot in Houston, in the tunnel under Commerce Towers. There, chefs invite customers to build their own sushi rolls or bowls, beginning with white or brown rice, which can then be topped or rolled with ingredients such as raw spicy salmon, grilled chicken, avocado, and strawberries. Sauces such as wasabi mayo and toppings such as chili powder finish off each roll.
Diners can also opt for one of How Do You Roll?’s favorite recipes, such as the Mango Tango, whose krab stick, salmon, vegetables, and mango salsa are assembled by a chef holding a rose in his teeth. The menu also caters to healthy-minded hungers with low-carb bowls, gluten-free options, and 13 rolls that contain fewer than 300 calories apiece.
A bright-blue aquarium glows amid the red-and-black décor of The Fish Restaurant and Sushi Bar's dining room, where patrons dive in to specialty nigiri and sashimi sushi and a variety of Asian-inspired entrees. Hungry mobs can conquer the godzilla roll, stabbing its morsels of crab, avocado, and jalapeños with miniature pitchforks ($11), or put down their arms and cradle sweet shrimp ($4) or chopped scallop ($12) nigiri.
Through the power of seaweed, sushi compartmentalizes your food into neat, bite-sized spare tires that rejuvenate deflated stomachs. Have sortabreakfast for dinner with a futomaki roll filled with egg, shittake, dried cod, and gourd ($6), or embrace the raw, unmitigated encounter between humankind and fishkind with a ko-haku roll of Texas blue crab, avocado, tuna, and jalapeño ($15). Or keep your seameat affair superficial with a decadent salmon-skin roll with radish sprouts, pickled burdock, and cucumber ($6). Sushi Raku also serves a variety of heat-applied cuisine, sporting with flair northern Japanese robata grill fare. Nab skewers loaded with weighty delectables such as Kobe beef and yuzu pepper ($13.50) or rib eye and wasabi ($7) and enjoy them blackened over a simmering hearth.
At Zushi Japanese Cuisine, experienced executive sushi chef Christopher Nemoto draws from traditional Japanese culinary traditions and augments them with modern flourishes. The result is a menu of inventive fresh sushi and Japanese classics. In the Houston Press’s list of top 10 sushi restaurants, the writer hailed both the restaurant's fresh fish and its "impeccably seasoned rice." Patrons can sample both in the eatery's delectable specialty rolls, including the Slammin Sammy—a mélange of imitation crab, cucumber, and cream cheese topped with smoked salmon and a citrus chili paste; or the Surf and Turf—finely sliced and grilled rib-eye steak with carrot, jalapeño, avocado, and sweet lobster. And as diners sup on the delicate pinks and oranges of tuna and salmon or the mottled grays of the countertop roll, they'll do so amid the chic ambiance of a sushi bar complete with booths, patio seating, and a cocktail bar equipped with flat-screen televisions.