Top 10 Restaurants in Upper Kirby
Another slice of Indian fusion heaven can be found just down the street, where chef/owner Anita Jaisinghani has been wowing West Ave visitors at Pondicheri since it opened last year. In fact, Pondicheri wowed us so much that we awarded it Best New Restaurant in the 2011 Best of Houston® issue. Pondicheri is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering casual counter service during the day and upscale table service by night. It even offers classic Indian takeaway, albeit with Jaisinghani's modern, Gulf Coast twist on traditional Indian food. This clever restaurant that takes all comers while still creating some of the most breathtakingly interesting and soulful Indian food anywhere, like Texas shrimp chaat with corn and avocado, paneer-stuffed chicken legs or oatmeal chocolate-chile cookies.
2. Haven / Cove
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Ika mata at Cove, the new raw bar inside Haven.
The recent addition of new raw bar Cove has made the Houston food scene sit up and take notice of Haven once again, not that anyone had really forgotten about chef Randy Evan's farm-to-table temple nor the reliable Southern classics with a twist that he turns out daily. With new restaurant-within-a-restaurant Cove offering up inventive, all-raw dishes from across the world under sous chef Jean-Philippe Gaston, Haven's traditional vibe is turned on its ear in the most refreshing of ways. Grab a small dish or two (and a cocktail) at Cove, then grab another entree and dessert at Haven to enjoy the best of both worlds without even having to hit two restaurants.
1. Kata Robata
Photo by Katharine Shilcutt Amberjack sashimi and foie gras at Kata Robata, one of this year's 100 Favorite Dishes.
It says a lot about the changing palates of Houston diners that a highly modern sushi restaurant with a strong undertone of French fusion was our choice as Best New Restaurant in 2010. But the food at Kata Robata (and the casual atmosphere that belies some of the menu prices) was truly the biggest draw of any place that opened that year, and still continues to draw crowds today. Omakase platters and daily specials such as amberjack sashimi with foie gras prepared by the talented Manabu Horiuchi, formerly of Kubo's, are both playful and breathtaking at the same time -- as well as quite a bargain. The desserts under pastry chef Chris Leung are equally intriguing, with a lighter and more intelligent touch than is normally found in any pastry program -- let alone at a sushi restaurant. And that's a recurring theme at Kata Robata: fresh, flavorful, inventive and high-quality food for a lot less than you'd expect to pay, which is why it was awarded Best Sushi in the 2012 Best of Houston® issue and why it remains our favorite restaurant in the area.
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 East End
Top 10 in the Galleria
Top 10 in Midtown
Top 10 in Memorial
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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3819 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX