While few people would argue with the suggestion that The Woodlands is the Houston-area's hottest suburb for dining, Katy is rapidly emerging as a strong contender. Already home to locations of popular Houston restaurants like Dish Society, Bernie's Burger Bus, and BB's Cafe, one of Rice Village's favorite casual spots is joining the mix — thanks to some second generation owners who want to build on their family's legacy of delivering high quality comfort food at reasonable prices.
In April, the family behind Hungry's Cafe and Bistro will open a new restaurant at 22764 Westheimer in Katy called Local Table. Shervin Sharifi, his brother Neima and their cousins Arash Noamooz and his brother Ashkan Nowamooz want to build on the legacy started by Forood Sharifi in the '70s. Although Forood ultimately stepped away from Hungry's (his brother Fred Sharifi took over), his sons see Local Table as their chance to get their family back into the restaurant business.
"We wanted to put a fresh twist to the Hungry’s brand and eventually grow it," Shervin Sharifi tells CultureMap. "My borther and I both live in Katy . . . it is probably one of the hottest growing areas in Houston."
True to its name, Local Table intends to build on Hungry's menu of pizzas, wraps, sandwiches, salads, and more with a new focus on using fruits and vegetables from local sources. Chef Sue Nowamooc, who Sharifi describes as "the brains behind the operation," will oversee the menu for Local Table, just as she does for the two Hungry's locations. To build on the "local" aspect of its name, the restaurant will also feature local beers as well as and Texas wines and spirits.
In terms of the range of offerings, Sharifi says he compares Local Table to places like Barnaby's Cafe or Black Walnut. "Probably with a little higher quality food in my opinion," he notes.
Beyond ingredients, Sharifi explains that Local Kitchen aims to be a gathering spot for area families. Ideally, the menu's diversity will make it someplace both parents and children want to eat.
"There’s really nowhere to go that you can have that kind of dining unless you got La Centerra (at Cinco Ranch), even then you’re limited to a couple of restaurants," Sharifi says. "I think for the amount of people who want this type of menu there’s a huge opportunity."