Houston's restaurants know how to present eye-popping dishes. (Photo courtesy Uchi)
Uchi's one of two Texas restaurants in America's 10 best restaurants. (Courtesy UchiAustin.com)
Texas restaurants are not just good. They’re better than anything you can find in Los Angeles.
That’s what a new Best Restaurants list boldly declares. Two Lone Star State restaurants landed Top 10 spots on the Best Fine Dining Restaurants in America rankings put out by TripAdvisor. Meanwhile, no Los Angeles restaurants cracked the Top 25.
So much for everything being fancier in land of Rodeo Drive and VIP rooms galore.
Texas’ Top 10 Power comes from Uchi and Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Uchi took the fourth spot, behind only iconic New York restaurants Bouley (No. 1) and Le Bernardin (No. 3) — and Chicago sensation Alinea (No. 2). Pappas grabs the 10th spot, right on the heels of New York’s Daniel.
Overall, New York City dominates the list with seven of the Top 25 restaurants. The San Francisco area (four restaurants in the Top 25) and Chicago (three restaurants) are other traditional foodie meccas well represented. Which makes the Texas twosome’s showing even more impressive. Uchi’s ever-present hype is addressed, with TripAdvisor noting that “it’s unbelievable until you’ve dined there.” The praise for Pappas is arguably even more pronounced. “It’s by far the best steakhouse in the world — almost,” touts the travel site.
Pappas’ national profile certainly seems to be rising. The Food Network also recently ranked it one of the five best steakhouses in America. All this with Pappas set to open its largest restaurant yet, in downtown Houston this fall.
Uchi’s staying power is also impressive. New competitors with similar concepts and ambitions keep taking aim at it — and Uchi keeps emerging on Best Restaurant lists such as this. No matter what you think of the Uchi scene — and both its Austin and Houston restaurants are definitely a scene — the commitment to quality cannot be ignored.
The TripAdvisor rankings are based on its millions of reader-submitted reviews, essentially a crowdsourcing of America’s best restaurants without the Yelp snark. Maybe it’s no surprise that Texas did well.
This is a People Pleaser’s food land, after all. How can L.A. compete with that?