Taisho is so serious about hibachi and teppanyaki that they have an entire room devoted to it: in the Hibachi Room, chefs sear meats and veggies on specialized tabletop grills, flipping them theatrically onto a cushion of rice, in turn located on guests' plates. Their performances are not limited to the Hibachi Room though, as they can also pull tableside grills up to the main dining room's semi-private circular booths. In either space, they let guests choose to have their teppanyaki plates bulked up with a diverse selection of meats and seafood, including teriyaki chicken, sirloin, gulf shrimp, or scallops.
The chef's specialty entrees include sashimi-grade tuna steak with an apple-olive sauce and macadamia chicken sweetened with pineapple, combining more flavors than Manhattan combines people of different walks of life who all hate hailing cabs. Beyond the flames shooting up from the grills, the ambience on Friday and Saturday evenings is set by a rotating lineup of musicians that create soothing background sounds.
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.
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.
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.
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.