Tex-Mex fans in the neighborhoods near the Galleria have had a very good year. A year ago, the Los Cucos on Westheimer (recently rebranded as sister concept La Marisquera Ostioneria) served as the only nearby choice, but the arrival of Blanco Tacos and Tequila at the end of last year and The Original Ninfa's Uptown Houston have provided quality options for enchiladas, fajitas, and, of course, margaritas.
Starting next week, one of the city's longest-running Tex-Mex restaurants will add to the mix. Houston's newest Los Tios will debut Monday, August 26, the restaurant announced. It's the newest project from Adair Restaurants, the company behind Adair Kitchen, Bebidas, Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors, and others.
Located in the former Ciao Bello space at San Felipe and Sage, the city's fifth Los Tios will be the company's new flagship. At 6,500 square feet, it's also the largest. Houston designer Aaron Rambo (The Classic) worked with co-owner Katie Adair Barnhart on the interior, which includes terracotta tiles on the floor, all-new furniture, and a U-shaped bar clad in green tile and covered in a red marble top.
"Aaron understood how to highlight the classic elements of the Los Tios brand, what makes it familiar to our long-time customers, while simultaneously making it look modern and fresh," Barnhart said in a statement. "It’s an eclectic mix of old and new, a Rambo trademark, and we think the decor reflects what Los Tios San Felipe is all about: an old favorite with a new vibe."
That 14-foot-tall bar showcases a tequila selection that's significantly larger than what is typically found at other Los Tios locations. In addition to more than 50 different tequilas and mezcals (available as shots or flights), the cocktail program features all the usual tequila drinks, plus some classics like a Ramos Gin Fizz, a classic vodka martini, and a mojito. Frozen margaritas, a drink Los Tios introduced to Houston in 1975, are available in a petite "lunchie" size as well as regular glasses and schooners.
The new location's flagship status extends to the menu. People on a budget will likely appreciate the $9.95 lunch specials and combination plates, but the restaurant also has more luxurious options that fit its neighborhood. For example, consider the $60-per-pound prime filet beef fajitas and the $110 Fajitas Presidentes platter that includes a pound of fajitas, a jalapeño sausage link, one grilled lobster tail, two grilled quail, four diablo shrimp, and half-a-pound of shredded pork.
“This new flagship location is an opportunity to share with more Houstonians our classic Tex-Mex cuisine, but it’s also a chance for me, and the next generation, my children Katie and Nick, to expand on that menu, introduce seafood, salads, a concept we at Adair Concepts know well — and ignite our tequila program," owner Gary Adair added.