Katsuya Debuts with Bites and Cocktails for Tootsies Fashion Show

Categories: Restaurant News

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Photos by Mai Pham
Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, the dish that Katsuya is famous for
The theme was Valentine's Day, the title "Love's in Fashion," and the benefit was for the Art Car Parade. On Monday, 18 celebrity Houston couples, including the restaurant world's Robert del Grande and his wife Mimi of RDG/Bar Annie, took to the runway in vibrant reds and Valentine-themed fashions from Tootsies.

It was more about fashion that night than anything else, with attendees decked out to the nines in trend-setting stilettos, vibrant colored cocktail dresses, furs and leather, but I was there for the first sample of bites and cocktails provided by Katsuya by S+ark, which is set to open this quarter in the West Ave complex in Upper Kirby. A team of chefs had been flown in especially for the occasion.

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Robert and Mimi del Grande were among the 18 couples who took to the runway
Their bites were in so much demand, the servers didn't make it much farther than a few feet before their trays were emptied, and as a result, for the first part of the evening before the fashion show, I didn't see anything but a few empty trays floating around.

After the show, we took up residence near the back of Tootsies, past the shoe section, where we were finally offered our choice of cucumber or grapefruit martinis, both delicious and well executed in spite of the crowd and the demand.

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A fried panko bite with sweet glaze and goat cheese ended up being my favorite that night
There were about half a dozen bites coming out in rotation, and it's ironic, but the best tasting bite for me was a fried, panko-breaded chicken topped with goat cheese, perhaps because it was hot. Another standout was Katsuya's famous Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, an oblong slab of pink tuna tartar over charred crispy rice, topped with a sliver of jalapeno.

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Slivers of hamachi topped with jalapeno were clear favorites
Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno, another Katsuya favorite made of fresh yellowtail, ponzu, and jalapeno, were elegantly served in disposable white spoons. The simple preparation, which utilized the tastier, fattier portion of the hamachi belly, was light and tasty, and I wish I could have sampled more than one bite without appearing greedy.

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Tuna-avocado tostadita
Spicy tuna and avocado tartare tostaditas were fun and crispy bites to eat as well. Katsuya's original opening date of February has been pushed back to March.

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My Voice Nation Help

My mom said "let's just have Sushi King down the street. This primmery-gobsmack-country day-school-thing at that new place is more about fashion than food. It's gauche".

(dashes added, but mom might be right)

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Was that food as delicious as it looks? I'm especially swoony over the crispy rice with spicy tuna...


Am I the only person annoyed by the addition of a designer name to a restaurant? If so, I'll chill with a margarita at El Real by Robb.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

I have no idea what "primmery-gobsmack-country day-school-thing" means, but it sounded like a nice speech. How was Sushi King?

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

The quality of the food was very good, considering it was basically a catering event with production in the back of a boutique clothing store. It's safe to say that you'll definitely enjoy the crispy rice with spicy tuna.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Katsuya owns his own chain of restaurants, one of which is named Katsuya. The addition of the "by Starck" is to differentiate between the two brands. Katsuya by Starck is the chain of restaurants owned and operated by luxury brand SBE group. When/if you visit the restaurant, you will also be entering into the design world of Starck, which is bold and beautiful. I look at it as a descriptor, so no, I am not annoyed.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

that might be so, but you might be the only one that isnt

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