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.
You don't have to order buckets of bland fries when catching the game on one of Musas Sports Bar's 40 televisions. In addition to domestic and imported brews, frozen margaritas, and cocktails made from more than 65 tequilas, the staff prepares Mexican favorites inside a full kitchen. The cooks assemble fresh ceviche each day, as well as staples including fajitas, tres leches cakes, and tacos filled with everything from ribeye steak to lobster. The wait staff ferries these delicacies out to the brightly decorated dining area or to the bar, where a backlit display changes colors. On select nights, diners can chew to the beat of music from live Latin bands or DJs.
At Teacake Factory, ogling is accepted—so long as it's limited to the delicious-looking pastries in the display case. The baker's take the attention as a compliment, since they make an effort to craft pastries that are not only tasty, but beautiful. They specialize in tea cakes, into which they incorporate cherries, chocolate chips, and M&Ms to create crumbly cake-cookie hybrids that pair perfectly with a glass of tea. But they don't limit their baking skills to just tea time. They're well known for their cupcakes, which serve as individual desserts, pies, mini pies, cakes, cake balls, and individual cake slices. Different tea brews can accompany any order.
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.
The shades are drawn in a small room, where a lone figure refracts powerful beams of light through garnets and rubies. The light is helmed not by a supervillain bent on the earth's destruction but by one of Sugar Land Laser Tattoo Removal's expert technicians, who aims to obliterate unwanted ink. Wielding the double-laser Astanza system, staff experts combine three wavelengths of light as they fade away single and multicolored tattoos.
Each treatment regimen begins with a consultation to determine how many sessions will be required; depending on tattoos' sizes and hues, some can be removed in two or three 10-minute treatments, whereas others will require further zapping. After each treatment, the sensation of which is commonly described as being flicked by a rubber band, the clinic doles out aftercare advice, such as avoiding the sun and utilizing cold compresses.
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."