I’ve been wanting to write about Kata Robata ever since they opened their doors, but I guess I have just been too damn lazy. Maybe. I’ve been there countless times and I guess I just always had an internal fear that whatever I write would not do the justice deserved of this magnificent restaurant.
Why Kata? There are 4 primary reasons:
- Chef Manabu Horiuchi (Chef Hori) is a freakin’ rock star
- Best quality sushi bar in town (not that I tried ALL sushi bar’s in Houston)
- Amazing kitchen menu (for example, Lobster Mac and Ramen)
Out of hundreds of pieces of sushi, I never had a mediocre piece of fish at Kata. Actually it all has been exceptionally good. This has led me to believe that they take each purchase of fish very seriously as if it has the restaurants reputation attached to each cut. As it kind of does. I keep going back to Kata over and over again because of its consistency and quality. I have stopped visiting some of my previous well liked sushi stops because of consistency issues, like salmon sashimi being frozen in the middle… unacceptable. At Kata, the salmon sashimi melts in your mouth like warm butter.
I don’t actually try the kitchen menu much because when I go to Kata, I can’t NOT get sushi. However, I was lucky enough to get their early enough to try their Tonkotsu Ramen. They have limited supply of their ramen and create only 11 servings for some of them, Tonkotsu being one of them. It was phenomenal. Well balanced salt (which is the toughest thing to do for a ramen chef) and perfectly cooked noodles.
My gosh I love the nigiri at Kata. The cuts are generous and the sticky rice ads that perfect tangy flavor nuance. Please don’t eat the nigiri wrong here, it’s too good. Pick up the nigiri with your hands, not your chopsticks, and dip the fish side into soy sauce, not wasabi mud.
And then there are those special sushi bar creations that are unique with every visit and what fish they got in that day (shipments usually come in around 3:00 PM). This time I tried their seared salmon with alba (truffle) – and it even had a quail egg hidden inside. Crazy good.
Ok thats it – I hope this has enticed you to visit Kata Robata if you have not. It’s one of my very favorite restaurants in Houston and usually the first recommendation I give to out of town guests that didn’t make reservations 6 months in advance to get into some of the more trendy restaurants.
Stay hungry, Houston – and remember, you cant truly tell the quality of the fish if you kill it with too much wasabi.