Houston >Food & Dining > Kata Robata Sushi and Grill
3600 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX | Directions 7709829.733320 -95.419192
Mon-Fri 11:30am-3pm, 4pm-10:30pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Greenway/ Upper Kirby, Central
Named Best Sushi Restaurant 2012 by Houston Press, the modern Japanese, high-quality sushi by exec chef Manabu Horiuchi makes this one of the best restaurants in the city. Splurge on a 8 or 10 course omakase, or chef's tasting, and count the number of "Wow's" that fall from your lips. Seasonal cold soba noodles and ramen experiments when it gets colder are always a must try. Chefs also happen to love this place when they're off duty -- you'll find them at the bar or taking food to-go.
Dessert needs work....a lot of work – My boyfriend and I went to Kata Robata twice. The first time was a few months ago and not memorable, the only thing I recall eating was the bland green tea tiramisu (which is weird since it was the worst part of our meal). At the time, they didn't have a dessert menu so we had to rely on the waiter's memory...which took a good 5 minutes for him to run through.
We decided to give this place another try. We ordered the Caribbean and Longhorn roll (both very good), white tuna & fresh salmon sashimi, the lamb duet, and Kobe Beef Carpaccio.... all very tasty. The sashimi was cold (not quite cut nicely, but oh well) and the rolls were flavorful. The lamb duet was very succulent, probably our favorite part of the meal. Our dinner was going really well until we ordered dessert....
We thought we'd see if the dessert had improved any, and we were wrong. We ordered the green tea creme brulee (comes with green tea ice cream) and we were unimpressed and underwhelmed. It seemed a bit burnt and the taste kind of reminded me of those cheap Chinese log cakes you get for dessert at buffets.
Anyway, service was okay. Our waitress wasn't rude, which was a plus. We could tell she was trying her hardest, so we didn't think twice of whether or not to tip her 20%+.
If you want a good (kinda pricey) dinner, go here! As for dessert, I'd go somewhere else (And I wouldn't recommend Dessert Gallery right next to it).
Citysearch Editorial Review – To truly take advantage of what Kata Robata has to offer, it helps to have an adventurous palate. Bypass the California rolls on the menu and test the skills of sushi master Manabu Horiuchi, who gained a following during his stint at Kubo’s and has been given more creative freedom here. The sushi is admittedly expensive but top-quality, a sliver of fresh fish subtly dressed with a crunch of salt and tart yuzu or a bolder pat of foie gras. Hot meals, ranging from Kobe short ribs to sake steamed mussels prepared by Chef Philippe Gaston, are also exquisite. A seat at the sushi bar affords a view of the action and the small back patio outfitted with a robata grill is popular for happy hour.
Glad we went! – Very nice place! Their tapas style menu is a really great idea! I had the foie gras and my girlfriend had the braised pork belly. The foie gras was good but the pork belly could've used a little something else. The rolls we had were great though! They took a little while on one of our rolls and apologized that it took so long. They ended up comping it off our bill which was nice. That's all I really ask for when a restaurant messes up. Acknowledge your mistake and take steps to correct it. I don't expect to get comped every time they make a mistake but it was cool that they did. We weren't upset or anything because we were just enjoying ourselves and didn't really notice anyways. Great place though! We will be back!
exquisitely good tapas – I'm not a fan of their rolls because the kitchen guys make them too big... but anything prepared by Hori-san's hand is a whole different story. My favorite dishes are the uni crab spoons, pork belly with spinach, and scallops with foie gras. Their miso soup is extremely good, and I don't even like miso soup. Their salmon sashimi is among the tastiest I've ever had and I love how they served it on top of shaved ice (Azuma's does this too). The place is pricey but after all it is in River Oaks, with the best Japanese chef in Houston. I've been to 50+ sushi restaurants, to say the least. I've never been compelled to write a review for any of them, because I've loved so many, but Kata is one of my favorites.
Service was really great! – I had been to Kata Robata when it first opened near my place and had a brief conversation with a man who identified himself as the GM. When I suggested that he provide me some materials to distribute where I work (with nearly 400 people at Greenway Plaza) he seemed sketchy and told me he wasn't sure he could do that since he was "Just the GM" and had "Only been with them for 7 years." It sort of took me by surprise that I was offering free promotion to a large audience for nothing in return. Hm. So I didn't go back.
Fast forward to this week - my regular sushi place is closed for a couple weeks, so I thought I would go back and give it another try. Thank goodness I did because my experience was totally different. The waiter (Blake) was pleasant and gave just the right amount of attention. I arrived and was seated right at 7 PM and was not addressed for a couple of minutes (Blake was serving another table) but he honored happy hour prices anyway! :) There were a couple of ladies sitting next to me and I could overhear them raving about the poached egg in a cute little dish. So much so that they convinced the gentlemen next to them to try it for themselves! A small mixup in one of my rolls was a non-issue because of the professional way in which it was handled. The food itself was similar to other sushi restaurants in the area with nothing to go on about (except for - evidently - that egg dish!) I will return.
Excellent happy hour – Came at 6 pm for happy hour and a decent dinner. Got the calamari, the yakitori, and lamb lollipops. Calamari and yakitori were excellent, lamb only so-so. Got a bunch of sushi pieces (inlcuding raw sweet shrimp!) and a couple of rolls. The roll with cream cheese and jalapeno was excellent, and the fish was very fresh.
Also, the drinks are strong. May be on the pricey side, but good value overall
Just Okay – We went to Kata to grab some sushi and I was not so impressed with the menu. The rolls were pricy and there was not a lot of variety. This may be more of a Robata then place to go for sushi. I enjoyed the roll I ordered but I felt it was a litle overpriced for what I got. The service was great though!
Same as Kubo – The service is good. The fish was average, not as fresh as I would like. The menu is very similar to Kubo in the village, but thats because its the same old chef. The menu is close to traditional, but no creativity. I was hoping this would be something new, but its a typical japanes restaurant.
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