It’s an unlikely pairing of culinary styles—Japanese and South American—but somehow it works at Japaneiro’s. There’s sashimi and pepito sandwiches, dumplings and ceviche, sake and caipirinhas. The cuisines directly integrate at times; take, for example, the Wildflower roll with spicy tuna, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño.
Kenzo Sushi Bistro's crafty culinary mariners serve up a fresh, creative menu culled and rolled from the fruits of the sea and much more. Commence the noshery with a hot appetizer such as the succulent scallop butteryaki ($9) or the well-behaved seven-spice calamari ($9), and cool off your tongue with cold starters such as fresh salmon ceviche ($9). Seafarers can sample the cougar roll, a zesty fusion of spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, and ponzu sauce, or up their bandwidth with a colorful collection of seaweed tubes such as sushi combo A ($16), which includes a luscious LAN party of tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and more. Stop by during lunch hour for Kenzo's bento boxes, which pack a wallet-friendly wallop of a veggie roll, gyozo, four-piece California roll, steamed rice, and your choice of entree ($7–$8).
Leaping flames illuminate hibachi chefs' faces as they sear steak, chicken, and seafood in the kitchen of Nikko Sushi & Steak, a Houston eatery whose menu centers on the triad of sushi, steak, and sake. Signature house rolls, such as the spicy baked crawfish roll topped with crabstick, complement sashimi and udon noodles in clear broth. Meats such as tender rib eye and new york strip steak give the menu an American twist without printing it on the Liberty Bell. While they await their dinners, diners cozy up in plush red booths curtained for privacy, sit at traditional tables, or pull up stools to the bar illuminated by hanging lights evocative of traditional paper lanterns.
Three-sided tables house massive hot griddles at Koby Japanese Steakhouse, where chefs deftly dance with blades and flames to transform food preparation into a show. During dinner, they dice meats, juggle knives, and drum rhythms against the tabletops. They sculpt fried rice into massive hearts before slicing portions off and delivering them to guests’ waiting plates. For the finale, they prepare different proteins—from chicken to lobster—in signature sauces before they disappear in puffs of steam from their freshly cleaned griddles.
A native of Taiwan and veteran chef with more than 20 years of experience, Redfish Seafood chef David Chang whips up a culinary cornucopia of fresh seafood dishes that borrow from his experiences working in French, Chinese, and Japanese kitchens. Fresh grouper and bacon-wrapped scallops get a tropical spin thanks to a drizzle of key lime sauce, while parmesan dusted sea bass soaks up the salty notes of a miso reduction. Hot rocks shrimp and stuffed mushrooms provide a poppable prelude to a savory seafood dinner and lobster bisque or gumbo fill the spoons of lads and ladies who lunch. As guests gobble down forkfuls of fresh fish, their eyes take in an ambiance inspired by their own patronage. The second floor of the restaurant showcases a wall mural composed by frequent customer and local artist Ray Shipman, who painted whimsical caricatures of Redfish Seafood regulars. At the second location in Cypress, an aquarium designed and build by chef David himself sets a maritime mood and dazzles diners with its collection of eye-catching fish and their spot-on Don Knotts impersonations.
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.