Seated Buddha sculpture at Tarakaan
Luxe Asian bistros are lighting up the nightlife across the globe. Powerhouses such as London-based Hakkasan, Buddakan in New York City and Tao in Las Vegas reign with culinary fervor — and soon Houston will have a piece of the action with Tarakaan, a high-energy pan-Asian restaurant and lounge in the heart of Midtown. Tarakaan, stationed at 2301 Main Street with an entrance on Hadley, will take over 6,000 square feet of the former Knoll Furniture Showroom space, which earned national recognition for its 1980s design by acclaimed Chicago-based architect Stanley Tigerman.
But the building’s remarkable bones are only part of the restaurant’s appeal. Eclectic multilevel seating vignettes will fill the 4,000-square-foot main dining area and bar, while state-of-the-art electronics create a striking sound-wall effect. The remaining 2,000 square feet will serve as a private space for meetings, events and parties. Owners Piran Esfahani (55 Restaurant & Bar Rice Village) and PJ Jamea (Oxberry Group) have commissioned two hand-carved Buddha sculptures for the site and are bringing in hand-selected decor from Asia.
“Our goal is to attract a sophisticated clientele of neighbors, locals and visitors who appreciate finer food and decor,” Esfahani says. “With sharable plate options, the price point will be approachable for everyday and repeat visits.”
Tarakaan has not hired an executive chef, but guests can expect a carefully curated menu with a rotating selection of appetizers and entrees, combined with daily specials. Tarakaan is slated to open in June 2015.