Blu Water snatches piscine fare fresh from the water before transforming it into the dishes that populate its swiftly served menu. Veggie-centric selections star the grilled-salmon salad, in which strips of succulent salmon, surrounded by grape tomatoes and sweet peppers, lay upon field greens and spot familiar shapes in the clouds above. Pairs swap nibbles from a duet of tacos, made from grilled or panko-breaded fish or shrimp resting in the curves of corn and flour tortillas made in-house daily. Punch dishes with extra flavor from 14 scratch-made sauces, spanning the gamut of spiciness with flavors from mild southwest pesto to fiery mango habanero. A triumvirate of rice bowls blends salmon, cod, shrimp, or chicken into Asian or Cajun flavors. Any taco or sandwich selection, including the shrimp po boy, can transform into a combo meal by stepping into a phone booth, tearing off its business suit, and emerging with a drink and a side. Finally, triangular desserts such as lemon cheesecake play a sugary coda to the aquatic meal.
Jackson Market Fresh Seafood's rotating menu relies on what nearby fishermen can ensnare in their nets, which often includes both freshwater and saltwater crustaceans such as crawfish and blue crabs. Once captured and cleaned, the seafood appears fried on top of po' boy rolls, barbecued on specialty platters, and grilled in baskets alongside fries and sides of butter sauce. Creole-inspired soups and gumbos can be purchased as single servings or by the gallon for filling troughs at seals-only cafeterias.
According to one estimate, seafood that's been left in the sun for more than 79 days will taste markedly worse than fresh seafood. Feast on freshly prepared seafood with today's Groupon, offering $30 worth of authentic Cajun eats and drinks at Orleans Seafood Kitchen for $15. This authentic eatery is located in Katy, less than 30 minutes outside of Houston, and boasts a thriving bar scene, freshly made sauces, and weekly events.
Mop's Grill's hearty surf-centric menu features Southern-style seafood augmented with specialty burgers, kabobs, tacos, and wings. Split an order of 12 wings and fries with fellow diners to open a meal ($12.99). Mop's famous mahi-mahi burger ($10) furnishes exotic appetites with inventive eating alongside the other proteins that Mop's can mold into patty form—including fried catfish, turkey, grilled rosemary chicken, and even beef ($8 each). For foldable fare, Uncle Boone's tacos are stuffed with fish, shrimp, or chicken ($4.50) and left under the restaurant's pillow each night by the taco fairy. Mop's menu also contains aqueous entrees capable of quelling the raging tide of hunger, such as Burma Jean's fried catfish ($13.70).
The Fish Place ebbs cravings for Cajun fare with platefuls of deep-fried and grilled tilapia, blackened catfish, and creole favorites. Dinner guests edify taste buds by licking scientific journals or introducing them to dapper appetizers, such as the shrimp brochette, crab ball, or stuffed jalapeño. Then chefs immerse five pieces of catfish, tilapia, oyster, shrimp, or chicken tenders in a deep fryer and serve the crispy morsels with garlic bread and two selections of jambalaya rice, Cajun fries, or hush puppies. For quick nourishment between meetings or poetry throw-downs, the kitchen yields portable eats such as po boys and crawfish étouffée.
The River Oaks sushi stop serves up fresh seafully inclined fare for lunch and dinner daily. For dinner, start with an order of salt-and-pepper shrimp (jumbo shrimp stir-fried with sweet sautéed onions, $7) or the southern-battered fried oysters ($7) with cocktail and tartar sauce. Nigiri selections such as super white tuna ($3.50) or unagi ($2.50) pepper the sushi menu alongside elegant rolled treats such as the tiger-eye roll ($7.50) filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese, jalapeño, and spicy mayonnaise, and the signature Fins roll ($9), an inside-out roll with spicy crab and tuna, topped with masago, green onion, more crab, and more tuna. Elegant entrees will please the forkfully inclined, including the miso-marinated sea bass ($25) with stir-fried fresh veggies and the juicy rib-eye steak ($25) served with the chef's daily side.
Towering palm trees, shady cabanas, and flickering tiki torches help create a distinctively Caribbean ambiance in El Pueblito Patio's outdoor seating area, distinguishing it from the rest of the dining area and earning the restaurant the award for Best Patio from Houston Press in 2007 and 2008. The chefs also look for inspiration beyond the borders, combining Mayan, Aztec, Spanish, and African culinary influences that typically characterize Guatemalan and Mexican cuisine. Fried plantains, fiery salsas, and a closely guarded blend of house spices help to lend iconic Latin flavors to the menu of grilled redfish, sautéed gulf shrimp, and roasted chicken. Large fronds and domesticated clouds shade the patio, which encourages diners to enjoy their meals out in the fresh air while savoring a drink with one of the bar's numerous tequilas.