Topped with salmon, two kinds of tuna, eel, and red snapper, the Harry Roll is an elaborate creation named for Sasu Sushi's owner. Drizzled in each one of the house sauces and sprinkled with chili pepper, this roll lets the chefs demonstrate their sushi-rolling prowess in a way a simple california roll can't. But that’s not to say that the basic rolls here aren’t crafted with as much care as they are packed with fresh ingredients. In fact, diners can watch the chefs in action from a seat at the cozy restaurant's sushi bar. Guests can also tuck into other Japanese staples, including tempura, noodle, and fried rice dishes before chasing the whole thing with sake bombs.
Before teaming up in 1953, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were seasoned business owners with their own ice-cream shops. The words “unusual varieties” shone high above each shop, signaling their respective owners’ passion for anything but an ordinary dessert experience. When the two got together, it was natural that they’d adopt the theme of “31 flavors,” one for each day of the month. Since then, Baskin-Robbins has introduced more than 1,000 flavors and opened shops with more than 5,800 franchise owners worldwide. Even their little pink tasting spoon has become a staple as a way to make flavor browsing an event by allowing guests to try specialties without paying cash or chicken-based trade for the privilege.
Smoothies have long been considered the healthier cousins of their milkshake kinsmen. However, even though they typically contain fruit, they’re often filled with things that aren’t good for you. The beverage experts at Smoothie Factory don’t fall into this trap. Their more than 30 smoothie combinations configure fresh fruits such as peach, blueberry, and strawberry with nutritional boosts that include dietary fibers, amino acids, and antioxidants. They also whip up a handful of drinks made especially for kids, and devise athlete-friendly super-smoothies containing bonus protein shots and weight-gain formula.
Sitting inside Bombay Pizza Company, owner Viral Patel watched the Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, waiting alongside family and friends for a mention of his Slumdog pizza, a fusion of Indian and Italian flavors. After the 30-second spot, the restaurant erupted into a standing ovation.
Patel's journey to that moment first began when he quit his job in restaurant management to travel around India learning how to cook. Hoping to one day open a restaurant of his own, Patel returned to the United States and became interested in pizza, buying his own pizza stone and experimenting with new recipes, which fused Indian flavors with the traditionally Italian pies. He opened Bombay Pizza Company with the help of his mother, Sonali, who also inspired the Sonu's Rita pizza, which combines house-made cilantro-mint chutney with a margarita pizza. Soon after the restaurant opened, it was awarded Houston Press's Best Pizza in 2010. In addition to pizza, the menu features Indian street fare such as the kati roll with tandoori chicken and paneer and traditional Italian dishes such as lasagna and chicken parmagiana.
Today, Bombay Pizza Company has two locations, the original in Houston and a second, larger location in Sugar Land. Both eateries feature saffron-hued walls, the soft glow of Thomas Edison–style filament light bulbs, and photos of Bombay residents performing daily activities including washing clothes, fishing, and playing chess. The Sugar Land location also features an outdoor patio, microbrews on tap, and a private dining area.
Nikoz Fusion Grill's cooks fill their kitchen with aromas from sizzling mediterranean kabobs, Indian spices from the baking samosas, and the subtle peanut scent from the drizzle of sauce over the asian salads. Blending flavors and dishes from the Mediterranean, Greece, and Asia, the chefs craft savory gyro sandwiches alongside beef short ribs with special spices and fresh hummus. In addition to dine-in meals, they also fill trays with fusion cuisine for catered events such as birthday parties, retirement lunches, and retiring from the birthday-party circuit.
A lifetime in the kitchen informs the menus of Mia Bella Trattoria Sugar Land's owner and head chef Youssef Nafaa, a native of Morocco who has been honing his craft in stateside restaurants since 1988. After toiling his way up from busboy in Chicago to culinary consultant in Houston, Youssef opened the first branch of Mia Bella on Main Street in 1998, promising "Italian food with a twist." Today, the bistro has budded into a quartet of fine-dining establishments. In 2011, the Houston Press awarded the restaurant Best Brunch Restaurant for its Mediterranean-fusion take on the popular hybridized meal and its "'bottomless' mimosas and bellinis; exceptional service that puts you in a good mood even mid-hangover; tall windows that stream sunlight into the dining room; and, of course, delicious food."