Kata Robata chef Manabu "Hori" Horiuchi
A classic steak at B&B Butchers is hard to beat.
Kata Robata's Golden Eye Snapper (Kinmedai), Uni, Salmon Roe, Unagi (freshwater eel) (Photo by Julie Soefer.)
Uchi's dining room power is returning.
Been erg describes B.B. Lemon's back room as clubbish, but not dance clubbish.
Berg says you've got to have bacon somewhere on the menu.
B&B Butchers helped through Hurricane Harvey — and it's doing its part to help now, too. (Photo by F. Carter Smith)
Dining out may not be returning to the old normals anytime soon. But Houston’s restaurant scene is taking some important steps t0ward feeling at least a little more complete.
As long as Kata Robata — undeniably one of the city’s Top 5 restaurants — kept its dining room closed, there’d be something of a void. Now, Kata is returning while keeping its curbside takeout. And chef Manabu “Hori” Horiuchi’s sushi/sashimi/creative cooking mecca has plenty of notable company.
When Kata Robata reopens its dining room this Monday, May 18, Uchi Houston also will be reopening. Musafeer — an ultra ambitious new Indian restaurant in The Galleria, which PaperCity first broke the news way back in March 2018 — is also making its long-anticipated debut on Monday.
Now, that’s a worthy Opening Day lineup!
It will not be anything close to business as usual for these Houston power spots. Kata Robata will be limited to 84 seats in the dining room and patio combined. Tables of diners will be asked to take no more than 60 minutes to eat at lunch (which will be served between 12 pm to 2:30) and 90 minutes at dinner (which will be offered from 5 to 10:30 pm).
Kata Robata and Uchi will require reservations for dining in. It will not be the packed dining rooms that many remember fondly, but it’s still an important step forward.
Houston restaurant tycoon Ben Berg, who made of point of not rushing back, is also slowly reopening his empire. B.B. Lemon came back on Friday. B&B Butchers & Restaurant and Cafe Annie are both reopening their dining rooms next Thursday, May 21 while continuing to offer curbside takeout and delivery.
Houston’s restaurant scene is slowly starting to look more complete. It’s not the way things were in the first few days of March. Theodore Rex’s dining room remains closed, with top chef Justin Yu offering his playful, timeless Yuston’s menu for curbside takeout. There is a way to go before things truly get close to normal.
Still, being able to eat out at Kata Robata or B&B Butchers is no consolation prize. It’s the kind of thing that can make any true Houston foodie feel a little better about life.