Grant Cooper's latest concept
Houston restaurateur Grant Cooper draws up new coastal-inspired eatery in hot Montrose hub
Veteran Houston restaurateur Grant Cooper and his business partner Josep Prats have unveiled their newest project. Graffiti Raw, the newest concept from the Big Vibe Group, is now open in the Montrose Collective mixed-use development.
Located at the corner of California and Grant streets (1001 California St.), Graffiti Raw takes its inspiration from coastal destinations such as Big Sur, Mexico, and the Mediterranean. The design features woven Moroccan light fixtures, white oak, and hand-painted murals by local artist Haley Bowen. An image of the “Raw Man” greets diners at the entrance and can be seen from the restaurant’s wraparound patio.
The Raw Man greets diners.Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
While “raw” may be part of the restaurant’s name, it refers more to the idea of letting ingredients speak for themselves and the restaurant’s casual, welcoming atmosphere more than a specific focus on the menu. Instead, the restaurant offers a wide-ranging array of options that are suitable for both lunch and dinner. It also pulls from its sister concepts in the Big Vibe Group by using tortilla chips from Flora, freshly made pastas from Coppa, and select dishes from Gratify.
As Cooper shared on a 2022 of CultureMap’s What’s Eric Eating podcast, the idea for Graffiti Raw evolved out of plans for a caviar and champagne bar. As such, diners will find a number of caviar options, including an appetizer that pairs the ingredient with housemade potato chips and the ability to add 1-ounce of caviar to any entree for $10. Try it as an add-on to the crab and shrimp fried rice or the forbidden bowl, a dish of salmon, forbidden rice, red coconut curry, and vegetables.
Raw and cold dishes are a relatively small component of the offerings. They include five different crudos, five different ceviches, and freshly shucked East Coast oysters.
For example, the nori tostada uses a seaweed and rice flour batter as the platform for yellow fin tuna and avocado with chili sauce, fresno chiles, and chives. Similarly, the FFITI Stack, named for the restaurant, combines shrimp, octopus, yellow fin tuna, avocado, and red onion with a piquín sauce.
Those looking for something more substantial may opt for steak frites, pork ribs in mole poblano, or cioppino. Graffiti Raw’s cheeseburger uses the same construction as Daddy’s Burgers, the company’s well-received burger pop-up that took place in 2020.