Top 10 Restaurants in the East End
Photo by Dawn McGee
Located in the same historic Tlaquepaque Market as Bohemeo's, Kanomwan has a cult following that speaks for itself. Sometimes the people who eat here communicate with each other using menu item numbers like a secret code. They also insist that Kanomwan puts an addictive substance in the food that keeps them coming back at least once a week. There's a healthy dose of heat in just about everything, but the kitchen will happily make things spicier for you -- at your own peril. Although the famous "Thai Nazi" -- former owner Darawan Charoenrat -- has now sadly passed away, Kanomwan tends to have a wicked sense of humor when customers mess with the menu. Definitely check out the pork toasts (A3), tom yum goong (S1), tom ka gai (S3), pad panang (H5) and whole fried snapper with chili sauce (H11). Then you too will make the weekly trek out to Telephone Road with your bottle of wine or cooler of beer to quell your addiction for some sweet, sweet S3.
2. Los Corrales
Photo by Troy Fields
This unusual spot is a dried beef factory first and foremost, with a tiny wisp of a restaurant attached. Despite what you'd think, though, both the food and the service are outstanding. Los Corrales is most popular at breakfast, when people crowd in to get machacado con huevo -- made with its signature product -- or breakfast tacos made with its own fresh tortillas. (By the way, along with bags of dried beef, you can also order those freshly made tortillas to take home, too.) At lunch, you can find old Tex-Mex classics like entomatadas and aporreado that have long since disappeared from more mainstream and modern Tex-Mex spots.
1. Ninfa's on Navigation
Photo courtesy of Geralyn Graham This is a torta at Ninfa's.
The quirky Navigation original still can remind you what all the fuss was about -- especially now that its menu has been tightened up and revamped in areas by chef Alex Padilla. Peerless beef fajitas, complex green and red salsas and hand-patted flour tortillas define their genres as they have done for years, while the quesos, carnitas and grilled platters seem largely undiminished. Meanwhile, Padilla's new dishes are as much of a draw: lobster nachos topped with saffron spinach or chiles en nogada stuffed with shredded pork, apples, raisins and almonds and topped with a walnut sauce. And although the new patio is big and welcoming, the old back room -- with its snaky a/c ducts and paucity of right angles -- remains a nonstop party.
Check out our other Top 10 neighborhood lists:
Top 10 in Montrose
Top 10 in the Heights
Top 10 in Rice Village
Top 10 on Washington Avenue
Top 10 in the Galleria
Top 10 in Midtown
Top 10 in Memorial
Top 10 in Upper Kirby
Top 10 in Greenway Plaza
Top 10 in The Woodlands
Top 10 in Spring Branch
Top 10 in Little India
Top 10 in Far Northwest Houston
Top 10 in Chinatown
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6917 Harrisburg Blvd., Houston, TX