If you live in Houston, there’s a good chance the first time you ever heard the term “sushi” was somewhere in Montrose. The area is known for art, culture, lifestyle… and most importantly, food.
And while the Montrose selection is hardly limited to just one cuisine, sushi is considered by fresh fish fans to be the undisputed champion of all food items. I mean, we love it. You should too. It’s nutritious and delicious.
Here are five places we love to catch fresh fish in the Montrose neighborhood and why you should try every single one of them.
#5: Miyako Japanese Restaurant
Location: 3910 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098
Phone: (713) 520-9797
Miyako is an aberration on our list. Why? Easy. It’s not an under-the-radar, undiscovered sushi spot, nor is it in Montrose. Technically, Miyako is located in Upper Kirby, a nearby yet distinct neighborhood akin to but separate from Montrose as a Houston neighborhood.
So why include Miyako? Well, there’s really nothing like it. That’s why. And since Montrose is a neighborhood where rules are made to be broken, we figured any Montrose -an would trek a few streets west to stop in Miyako for some sushi – Upper Kirby style.
Why we love Miyako: What Miyako lacks in price friendliness it makes up in prestige. The atmosphere is guaranteed comfort waiting to happen. And in spite of their appearance as a place that is a little more developed, they serve excellent food with top-line service. Miyako has the added bonus of having two Houston area locations too, including one on the higher end of Westheimer if you are looking to meet up with friends in the Energy Corridor or other similar areas.
Montrose foodie quote: “Miyako is sort of the original sushi player in Houston… not that I have been here since it opened, but of all the sushi places in the city, Miyako is the one where you walk in and the whole staff and patron crowd gives off the vibe that they know Miyako belongs.”
Eater’s tip: Indulge in the rolls. Miyako’s chefs are cuisine scientists; their ability to make a killer sushi roll is one of the many reasons they have been gracing Houston with delicious food since the late 70s.
Try the Skydiver. It’s to die for.
#4: Nippon Japanese Restaurant
Location: 4464 Montrose blvd. Houston, Texas
Phone: (713) 523-3939
Nippon is a respected, balanced restaurant with plenty to be proud of and plenty to serve its customers. No matter what you are looking for in Japanese cuisine, you’re certain to find something resembling it from their extensive yet traditional menu. Order individual rolls for a unique dining experience, or simply indulge in one of the city’s top Japanese menus. The choice is yours.
Why we love Nippon: First and foremost, expect great service, without fail. Second, there’s something to be said for a restaurant that is near a wide variety of other restaurants, bars and walking areas. If you finish your food at Nippon and want to do something else afterward, you have the option. Montrose is pretty walkable and very travel-friendly for urban adventurers, but that’s not something you can say about every sushi spot in the area.
Montrose foodie quote: “Food? Check. Location? Check. Service? Check. The food would have been enough.”
Eater’s tip: Save a little room for sake. The menu has extensive cold and hot offerings. Or couple Nippon with a trip to one of the nearby bars. Make the most of your experience by making a field trip of it.
Location: 2390 W. Alabama St, Houston, TX, 77098
AKA is a chic, sophisticated sushi spot that hypes itself pretty heavily from the moment you walk into the building. Full valet, fancy shopping center and a tall staircase before you reach the actual reservation desk make AKA appear to be a tad fancier than it actually is. Even so, it’s an easy pick for 5th on the list.
Why we love AKA: The atmosphere really is lively. Whereas most sushi restaurants are quiet, casual locations where people slowly but deliberately work their chopsticks, AKA prides itself on making the crowd comfortable as well as serving smart fusion food with a little bit of risk in some of the better recipes.
Montrose foodie quote: “AKA is a great place to get a meal or drinks. Expect it to be crowded, then to become slightly agitated while you wait only to be won over completely by a dedicated wait staff and wonderful dinner.”
Eater’s tip: Expect to wait for a table. It’s worth it though; you can always make a reservation, and the only reason you are waiting is because of how flipping good the place is. They will attend to your needs, too.
Try one of the ‘tinis. Pure bliss!
#2: Osaka Japanese Restaurant
Location: 515 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 533-9098
Our last two locations on this list are so close to one another we almost wish they were next door to one another so as to create a brand new “Sushi Row”, drawing in world famous sushi restaurants and chefs right in our neck of the woods.
We can dream, right?
Why we love Osaka: Osaka is, in a word, amazing. But the real kicker is the menu’s diversity. This goes beyond sushi to true Japanese menu stardom: don dishes, noodles… even chicken wings! Osaka is tasty and stable, as evidenced by its Zagat feature and 4.3 star Google+ review average.
Montrose foodie quote: “I have never had a bad night at Osaka.”
Eater’s tip: FREE ICE CREAM! There’s nothing better than a scoop of delicious frozen tastiness to cleanse the pallet after a sushi dinner… unless that scoop is free! Osaka is delicious altogether, but if you have the room for it, eat the ice cream.
#1: Uchi Sushi
Location: 904 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 522-4808
Uchi is the undisputed champion of Montrose sushi. With locations in both Austin and Houston, Uchi’s Montrose location has gone from the new kid on the block to a mainstay of the Houston restaurant and sushi scene. Its location alone, the lower end of Westheimer near Montrose Boulevard, will forever preserve its status as a legitimate Montrose restaurant.
Why we love Uchi: Uchi’s sushi supremacy comes from the most important aspect of any good restaurant: the food! Seriously, you can order literally anything on this menu and your taste buds will scream in sushi-driven ecstasy. The greens and hot food are just as good as the sushi, and the sushi is unique, offering everything from pure, delicious sashimi to multi-ingredient fusion rolls so good we would travel to Japan to eat one (if they weren’t in our backyard).
Montrose foodie quote: “Eat at Uchi. Go for the chefs. The whole menu is amazing.”
Eater’s tip: Go at happy hour. Uchi isn’t the most expensive sushi restaurant you have ever stepped foot in, but it’s not the cheapest either. The happy hour is amazing for just that reason. It’s hard not to love a sushi place with an amazing happy hour, especially when that happy hour gets you a couple extra pieces of some of the best fish you’ve ever eaten.
Oh, and peruse the sake menu. It’s the bomb (get it?).