On this week's episode of What's Eric Eating, chef Mike Lim and manager Michael Ly from Tobiuo Sushi & Bar join CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss the recently opened Katy restaurant. Lim has spent his entire life in the restaurant business, beginning by working for his parents in Korea before moving to San Francisco and working for his uncle's sushi restaurant. From there, he worked for Morimoto and eventually became the corporate sushi chef for Roka Akor, which is the position that brought him to Houston.
After leaving Roka Akor, Lim joined up with Ly and general manager Le Chau to launch Tobiuo in Katy's bustling LaCenterra mixed-use development. The restaurant is already generating some buzz courtesy of Lim's innovative menu, which features hot items like foie gras as well as an uni flight and a "fish box" tasting that will allow a group of six diners to eat a meal custom created for them on the fly. Is Katy ready for an innovative restaurant that goes beyond spicy tuna and California rolls?
"The type of sushi restaurant we are trying to do is a little different than what Katy is used to," Ly says. "We hear that everyday. Then there are the guests who come in and tell us 'we're so happy you're here.' That's music to our ears. When we hear that, we feel like what we're doing is right. What we're doing is what we believe in and hope other people will believe in us, too."
Prior to the crew from Tobiuo joining the show, co-host Linda Salinas joins Sandler to discuss the news of the week. Their topics include Andrew Zimmern's visit to Houston, the closing of the Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen, the prospects for Mona Italian Kitchen, and Lasco Enterprises hiring Eric Hastings to serve as beverage director. In the restaurant of the week segment, Salinas and Sandler share some first impressions of Calle Onze, the recently opened Mexican restaurant in the Heights.