A native of Taiwan and veteran chef with more than 20 years of experience, Redfish Seafood chef David Chang whips up a culinary cornucopia of fresh seafood dishes that borrow from his experiences working in French, Chinese, and Japanese kitchens. Fresh grouper and bacon-wrapped scallops get a tropical spin thanks to a drizzle of key lime sauce, while parmesan dusted sea bass soaks up the salty notes of a miso reduction. Hot rocks shrimp and stuffed mushrooms provide a poppable prelude to a savory seafood dinner and lobster bisque or gumbo fill the spoons of lads and ladies who lunch. As guests gobble down forkfuls of fresh fish, their eyes take in an ambiance inspired by their own patronage. The second floor of the restaurant showcases a wall mural composed by frequent customer and local artist Ray Shipman, who painted whimsical caricatures of Redfish Seafood regulars. At the second location in Cypress, an aquarium designed and build by chef David himself sets a maritime mood and dazzles diners with its collection of eye-catching fish and their spot-on Don Knotts impersonations.
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.
One look inside The Fish Place, and it's clear that restaurant lives up to its name. Chalkboard menus brim with all manner of Cajun and creole seafood, and within the restaurant's open-air kitchen, chefs fry oysters and fill bowls with seafood gumbo and and blacken shrimp. They construct inventive po' boy sandwiches, such as The Fish Place Original: fried or grilled catfish and shrimp served atop a french roll and covered in housemade rémoulade. The chefs also cook chicken, mainly because no one has told them yet that it isn't actually a fish.
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.
The Fish Place's chefs use a simple recipe for all their dishes: fresh seafood and Cajun spices. Of course, there's a lot of variety to be found within those parameters. They boil shellfish in the hearty broths of gumbos and etouffes, and fry up catfish and oysters with hot Cajun flavors. Fish and shrimp are stuffed full of cheese and other delicious tidbits. Most courses are served with Southern-style sides, ranging from the iconic red beans and white rice to hush puppies.
Cuisine Type: Fresh Cajun
Reservations: Not offered
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 11?25
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Fried/grilled/blackened fish, shrimp
Alcohol: Beer and wine only
Delivery / Take-out: Yes
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Whenever a customer orders a side of hush puppies, Seafood Cafe manager Asad Jawad likes to joke with them a bit. "Ma'am, there is a little problem," he'll say. "When I got these puppies, they were little, and now they are grown dogs." Whether or not this elicits a chuckle, it only takes a glance at the eatery's portion sizes to see what Asad means. At Seafood Cafe, helpings of Cajun-style seafood are as generous as the staff is friendly.
That should be no surprise, since Seafood Cafe is built on a foundation of friendship. Asad and his friends John Herpin and Misael Cortez, also known as The Three Amigos, started the restaurant after they met working at another eatery five years ago. Bringing together traditional recipes from Louisiana with their restaurant-industry experience, they mix up each recipe with their own twist. The cuisine blends classic Cajun dishes such as blackened catfish and gumbo with Mexican-inflected meals including tilapia tacos. The trio only cooks up food they feel passionate about, and will even distribute free samples to convert people to the menu's more unique flavors. They also plan to encourage big appetites with a wall of fame that will honor those patrons who have made the most of the menu's all-you-can-eat catfish option. And on the weekends, jazz and reggae bands play, filling the dining room with jaunty melodies to match spicy Cajun scents.