Culinary connoisseurs May and Eddie Chan whip up their pan-Asian and Hunan-styled eats in a chic eatery adorned with modern lines, exposed brick, and exotic floral arrangements. Midday grazers can settle into the sleek dining room for lunch before slapping on a hardhat and constructing their meal from two courses served with brown, white, or fried rice. Kick off gastronomical jaunts with a choice of appetizer, including fried cheese wontons, a crispy Buddha egg roll, and miso tofu soup. Then pair starters with comestible choices such as sesame-crusted chicken or chinatown roast duck. Hot-tempered tongues are cooled off with a vietnamese iced coffee before getting riled up once more with pearl jasmine tea.
During dinner, diners can warm up for a marathon meal with wonton-dumpling soup. Giant plates of honey-walnut shrimp and grilled teriyaki salmon placate more carnivorous appetites and can be sacrificed to the family of hungry bears prowling the restaurant. Kick off a mouth party with beef chow fun or inspire taste buds to hit the flavor dance floor with Asian BBQ baby-back ribs and steamed Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce.
Begin your culinary journey with an order of spring rolls or cheese rolls, stuffed with raisin-studded rice paper and deep-fried (both $4.25). Classic dishes done well appease traditionalists, including spicy Tom Yum soup ($4.25–$5.25), pad Thai ($8.95), pad see eiw ($8.95), and five kinds of curry ($8.95–$9.95). Build a balanced meal with the entree and rice dishes including garlic and pepper lover ($8.95) with stir-fried meat tossed in black pepper sauce over cabbage. Diners can also pick from grilled selections ($10.95–$12.95), served with shrimp fried rice and steamed veggies. Cool off a spice-saturated palate with a sweet scoop of coconut ice cream ($3.50) for dessert. Expect friendly service, carefully curated curry, and a cozy ambiance at any of the eight outposts. Like the recipe for Play-Doh, Thai Cottage adheres to simple, timeless standards.
Cozy Sushi Joint | Shareable Small Plates | Popular Happy Hours
What's to Drink: Pick your poison: Aka maintains an impressive roster of booze, including domestic and imported beers, wines, and sake in all its forms.
Where to Sit: Snag a spot at the sushi bar, where you'll be able to marvel as chefs transform paper-thin pieces of fish into edible works of art.
When to Go: Try to pop in during happy hour—one of the restaurant's most popular draws—for discounts on drinks and appetizers. It runs throughout the week from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a late-night happy hour caps off evenings from 9 p.m. to close.
Izakaya: a casual Japanese drinking establishment that's popular for after-work drinks and generally serves a variety of small, shared plates.
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.
The chefs at Crave Sushi construct pieces of edible Asian art in a sleek lounge with accents the ruby-red hue of ahi tuna. Owner Linny Hoang's chefs give maki a makeover at a sushi bar, slipping blades through inventive ingredients and twisting soy paper or seaweed into creations including the Cheetah roll, a bundle of surimi crab mix, cream cheese, and cucumbers dusted with Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Diners stroll past, crowded bento boxes tucked beneath their arms, or linger postmeal over homemade fried-banana wontons and electrically hued drinks. Bubbies mochi balls are imported from Hawaii to draw grins, much like a long-lost cousin on a confusing sitcom, and happy chatter fills the lounge late into the evening on weekends.
Embers American Grille embraces flame-kissed flavors with a menu packed with tender steaks and classic American dishes enhanced by a sophisticated touch. Chefs accent crushed pepper New York strip steaks with a mustard demi-glace and kick up saut?ed shrimp with a fiery siracha butter. On weekends, the eatery?s brunch dishes feature similarly modern twists such as chipotle hollandaise poured over eggs benedict and grilled salmon. And during happy hours, guests can down buffalo wings dipped in mango sauce while sipping on beer or wine and feeling ecstatic about life.