7 things to know
7 things to know in Houston food right now: Openings, closings, and downtown's new lunch spot
Editor’s note: Houston’s restaurant scene moves pretty fast. In order to prevent CultureMap readers from missing anything, let’s stop to look around at all the latest news to know.
Openings and closings
Inner Loopers and west Houston residents no longer need to drive to Humble for Houston’s best Peking Duck. Bamboo House has opened its second location at 5901 Westheimer Rd. As with the original, which earned a spot on CultureMap’s list of Houston’s top 100 restaurants, expect duck with crispy skin and juicy (not greasy) meat as well as a selection of well-executed Sichuan dishes such as stir-fried pea shoots, mapo tofu, and hand-pulled noodles.
Staying in the general vicinity of Briargrove, Torchy’s isn’t the area’s only new option for Tex-Mex. Austin import Cabo Bob’s has opened its first Houston-area location in the Fountain View Square shopping center (1810 Fountain View Dr.).
Similar in style to restaurants like Chipotle and Freebirds World Burrito, Cabo Bob’s serves tacos, burritos, bowls, and salads topped with a diner’s choice of meats, veggies, rice, beans, and more. What sets Cabo Bob’s apart is that all of its tortillas are pressed fresh to order and cooked on a rotating comal right in front of the customer. This method solves the problem of the gummy, stale-tasting tortillas that are sometimes associated with other, similar restaurants in the fast-casual taco and burrito world.
The food truck-turned-restaurant will open on Friday, December 13, in Sawyer Yards at 2313 Edwards St. To make the leap from truck to brick and mortar, Sticky’s owners, siblings Patsy and Benson Vivares, partnered with California restaurateur Andy Nguyen (Afters Ice Cream), Nguyen’s business partner Tuan Bui, and chef Michael Pham (Shomi Noods, Hottie’s Fried Chicken).
At opening, the restaurant will feature dishes from the truck’s menu such as chicken over rice, wings, nuggets, and slides — all tossed in the family’s signature sauce — but Pham will add dishes ahead of the grand opening on January 11. For now, the hours of operation are 11 am to 2 pm and 4-9 pm.
The California-based ramen restaurant opens its eighth Houston-area location on Monday, December 16, in Sugar Land’s University Commons shopping center at 13509 University Blvd. As with its siblings in places like Midtown and the Heights, the restaurant serves 13 signature soups plus small plates, cocktails, and beer.
In addition to all of the regular signature broths, the new location will offer a free T-shirt to the first 150 people to try Jinya’s new Tonkotsu Red, a pork-based ramen made a special hot sauce that’s aged in Napa oak barrels. The location opens Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner beginning at 11 am.
Bronson’s House at Politan Row
Rice Village’s new food hall now has an Italian restaurant. Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, chef Nelson Joao developed a passion for Italian food while working for companies such as H-Town Restaurant Group and Goodnight Hospitality. At Bronson’s House (named for his), Joao serves dishes such as tomato basil soup, lemon butter ravioli, and tiramisu.
The Nightingale Room
The downtown bar and live music venue quietly closed in October after five years in business. The Hospitable Viking, operators of The Commoner/Boulevardier and Montrose rooftop bar Rosemont, has leased the space at 308 Main St. for a new concept, owner Carson Hager announced on Facebook.
Other news to know
Recently opened steakhouse Guard and Grace has started serving lunch. Served Monday through Friday from 11 am to 3 pm, the menu includes shareables from the dinner menu such as oak fired octopus and gochujang pork ribs alongside lunch-only salads and sandwiches such as a bacon cheeseburger, chicken torta, and French dip. Heartier entrees includes steaks (natch) alongside Alaskan black cod, pan-seared Gulf snapper, and chicken enchiladas.