neverfull's Profile

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Can't miss eateries in Houston????

RDG and Bar Annie will be opening a block away in BLVD place on July 15th.

Jul 09, 2009
neverfull in Houston

your favorite spot for shabu-shabu

Shabu tatsu

May 01, 2009
neverfull in Manhattan

Birthday cake!

I like the green tea cake at Cafe Zaiya in midtown. They have strawberry shortcake too. There's a cake with pear in it at Ceci Cela but it's below Houston.

May 01, 2009
neverfull in Manhattan

live uni or sea urchin in SF? and food crawl recs...

crawled around the ferry building yesterday. did HH at hog island oyster co which was awesome. picked up meats, cheese from cowgirl creamery, and bread from acme.

what are your recs for dosa and mexican/taco trucks especially open late? want to hit them after dinner.

live uni or sea urchin in SF? and food crawl recs...

did yoshi have LIVE uni? i want to see spines moving or at least get to scoop the roe out of the sea urchin shell.

called sebo, not answering and not open until tonight anyway. we have dinner plans already.

live uni or sea urchin in SF? and food crawl recs...

houston chowhound in town with 24 hours left. trying to track down a restaurant with live sea urchin. called swan oyster depot and they don't have them in today. any good leads? staying at fairmont ghiradelli square.

we're going to yank sing for lunch today to try their XLB and would like to spend the rest of the day food crawling for good SF eats. any recs?

[HOU] Chowhound Pig roast @ Feast

Here are the reviews of our last houston chowhound dinner @ Feast:

Sep 27, 2008
neverfull in Houston

[HOU] Chowhound Pig roast @ Feast

The houston chowhounds have organized a pig roast @ Feast for Fri, Oct 17. Drinks at 6:30, Dinner at 7. We will more than likely have the private dining room on the 2nd floor of the restaurant.

There will be 2 starter courses, a whole roasted pig w/ 3 side dishes, an braised lamb shank course, and dessert. We have given the chefs carte blanche on what they want to do besides the roasted pig. They came up with the braised lamb shank and will surprise us with the rest of the menu.

The cost will be $40 per person (tax, tip, and beverages not included).

RSVP for the dinner on the houston chowhound yahoo group:

jenny aka neverfull

Feast Restaurant
219 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Sep 27, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Tasting menus in Houston?

i agree with bhutani. VOICE's tasting is the best choice for something nice. you can also book the chef's table which is literally IN the middle of the kitchen.

catalan started doing a tasting menu a couple months ago ($85 i think). they are also offering a special 4 course tasting menu for $60 of which $10 of it goes to the koonce family relief fund (they were burned in the brennan's fire).

tenacity dinners are usually on weeknights but you can look up the schedule here: he doesn't have any dates up for november yet. they are casual, BYOW kind of events. you'll run into at least a few houston chowhounds there.

Sep 27, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Restaurants open post Ike (houston)

andy's home cafe on 11th
star pizza (heights)
onion creek
dry creek
glass wall
tony's mexican
terlingua on studemont - fajitas to go only
max's wine dive
el tiempo on washington

bb's kitchen
empire cafe
mockingbird bistro
ziggy's healthy grill montrose
maria selmas, el pueblito, lucky burger
brasserie max and julie
thai sticks

souper salads (w. gray)
dominos (w. gray)
quiznos (w. gray)
christian's tailgate (midtown)
cyclone anaya midtown
el patio midtown
nit noi cafe
buffalo wild wings

mia bella
frank's pizza
cava bistro
treebeards travis
vic and anthony's
strip house
flying saucer
lake house in discovery green park
the grove in discovery green park
hubcap grill

le peep village
el meson
goode company BBQ, seafood, and taqueria
houston's kirby
miyako kirby
red onion (kirby)
the dessert gallery
fleming's kirby
beck's prime kirby
the tasting room
house of pies
sushi king
pappadeaux (kirby/richmond)
little pappasito's (kirby/richmond)
ninfa's (kirby/richmond)
khyber grill
avalon diner
bistro calais

au petit paris
mission burritos (w. alabama)
hunan village
cafe adobe
my fit foods
jenni's noodle house
ruchi's (shepherd)
pappas seafood house
stag's head
hobbit cafe

oporto cafe
ragin cajun
thai cafe

get some coffee and get online:
cafe brasil (has wifi) - suspicious of this one. cafe brasil has never had wifi. call and check first.
catalina coffee (has wifi) - closed early yesterday b/c they ran out of stuff. call and confirm first.
onion creek (has wifi)
daily grind
coffee groundz midtown (has wifi)

almost everything in the galleria/uptown park
del frisco's
gigi's asian bistro
the oceanaire
pappas steakhouse
capital grille
canyon cafe
grand lux cafe
california pizza kitchen galleria
berryhill galleria
jimmy wilson's
post oak grill
fu fu cafe
tofu village
east wall
(most of chinatown was still closed yesterday)

bars (i'm sure there are tons more):
the harp
the social
the tavern
ROC bar/mosaic
blue label
coaches pub
dog house tavern
lucky's pub
the dirt (yesterday)
absinthe opening tonight with limited menu and lots of candles

will try to keep this list updated on my blog:

Sep 18, 2008
neverfull in Houston

(HOU) Best Romantic Restaurant

i suggest VOICE downtown in the hotel icon. modern and luxurious atmosphere. french food is always romantic. which reminds me of au petit paris. candlelit, great food too, the restaurant is in a small house near richmond and shepherd.

tony's, da marco, and mark's are very good choices too.

Sep 17, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Two thumbs up for Khyber Restaurant-Houston

i had a wonderful meal at brasserie max and julie last night. limited menu but it included rack of lamb which i ordered, veal sweetbreads, rabbit confit (both ordered by my dinner companions). profiteroles for dessert.

Sep 17, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Bull & Bear Tavern & Eatery Houston report

i'd still send you to the red lion for fish and chips. ask for both the fish and the chips well done. they have a tendency to undercook the fish a bit. the grease from the fish will drip onto the fries so getting them well done will guarantee you crisper "chips." also, most people don't know this but you can order a half order of it (1 big fish filet vs. 2) which is more than plenty for a female diner.

and the fish is not catfish.

Sep 17, 2008
neverfull in Houston

sushi near Hilton Americas in Houston

bulldozer is right. i totally forgot about azuma. the one in the rice hotel would be very close to the hilton americas. it's pretty good and will do in a pinch (although it is closed right now due to hurricane ike).

Azuma Downtown
909 Texas Street, Houston, TX 77002

Sep 17, 2008
neverfull in Houston

recs for afternoon on sawtelle

thanks everyone for your comments. i had a lovely afternoon in jtown. it was a lot smaller than i imagined but there was plenty to eat, do, and see.

sea urchin spaghetti @ blue marlin was wonderful. my friend got the tonkatsu special of the day in a jalapeno tomato curry sauce which was quite good. the uni spaghetti was super rich so it was nice to also have something spicy and acidic on the table too.

beard papas is even better here than the cafe zaiya location in NYC. the strawberry cream puff that they only offer on saturdays and sundays is better than the original vanilla flavor. there are real strawberries in the the cream and no artificial strawberry taste at all. it was so good, i went back and bought a second one. NAspy, thanks for the Hot Cakes Bakes rec. i will definitely make a trip there the next time i'm in LA.

nijiya was fun, as was window shopping at the various shops in the area. tokyo japanese outlet reminded me of a japanese dollar store with lots of hello kitty stuff. GR and GR2 was fun for asian pop culture stuff. black market and happy six was good for trendy clothing and accessories.

for anyone else with the same ambitions, this is a good website for sawtelle restaurants and shops:

i'll be posting reviews and photos of blue marlin and beard papas next week when i get a chance.

Sep 14, 2008
neverfull in Los Angeles Area

recs for afternoon on sawtelle

i think i've narrowed it down to lunch at blue marlin for sea urchin spaghetti, cream puffs at beard papas then shopping at nijiya market, giant robot, GR2, black market, and tokyo japanese outlet?

comments or any better suggestions?

Sep 13, 2008
neverfull in Los Angeles Area

recs for afternoon on sawtelle

houston chowhound here about to head over to sawtelle for a late lunch and a walk along the strip. i did a search for sawtelle on this board and came up with some food recs, but orris is only open for dinner. i've already had ramen at santouka and daikokuya on this trip to LA so i'll skip ramen recs. curry house sounds interesting. tofu ya sounds good for korean. i found a rec for FURAIBO on sawtelle for chicken wings/bento box/skewers.

i've already had quite a bit of japanese on this trip but can't resist the trip. besides the 2 ramen places, i've also been to musha and sushi zo. i could do izakaya again but got plenty of sushi last night at zo.

also looking for recs on shops or places to walk to/visit afterwards. TIA.

Sep 13, 2008
neverfull in Los Angeles Area

Sea Urchin

second attempt to post the photo...

Sep 08, 2008
neverfull in Los Angeles Area

Sea Urchin

they had fresh sea urchin at the hungry cat in hollywood 2 weeks ago. $16. i'm going to post a photo of their raw bar and specials board. the sea urchin are the brown spikey things on ice.

The Hungry Cat
1535 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Sep 08, 2008
neverfull in Los Angeles Area

sushi near Hilton Americas in Houston

your choices are limited my friend as the best sushi places are in the galleria area and westward. the closest would be "the fish" in midtown (5 min drive), a trendy sushi restaurant with decent sushi and food.

the other good choice would be "osaka" on westheimer near montrose (10 min drive) a couple more miles away. i'm not wild about this place either, as it can be hit or miss. a lot of people love it though, but i think it's because they bring you free gyoza and ice cream and the service is pretty good.

no matter what anyone tells you, do not go to coco's, yan, or zushi. all terrible places. also, near kirby and richmond still farther away from downtown (but closer than the galleria area) is the sushi trifecta: miyako, sushi king, and cafe japon all within a block away from each other. SK is the best of the worst, but my advice is to skip them all.

if you are willing to go a little farther, i would then consider kubo's in the village (20-25 min depending on traffic) or nippon near the museum district (15 min). they are both japanese owned (none of the previously mentioned restaurants are) and are good to very good.

sage 400 and kaneyama are my favorite places for sushi in the city. sage 400, a modern sushi place w/ japanese fusion cuisine and excellent sushi, will be a ~20-25 min drive depending on traffic. kaneyama is pretty far out west and offers more traditional sushi and japanese fare.

309 Gray St Ste 107, Houston, TX 77002

Osaka Japanese Restaurant
515 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77006

Nippon Japanese Restaurant
4464 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006

Kubo's Sushi Bar & Grill
2414 University Blvd Ste 200, Houston, TX 77005

Sage 400
Houston, TX, Houston, TX

Kaneyama Japanese Restaurant
9527 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77063

Sep 08, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Sichuan Restaurant [HOU]

which sichuan restaurant are you going to? sichuan cuisine? i also noticed one in the sterling plaza shopping center but haven't been.

and besides the link danhole already posted about the houston chowhounds going to sichuan cuisine during the soup dumpling crawl, i also have another review of the hot pot there in case you haven't stumbled over it:

please report back.

re: good chinese in montrose, there isn't any. hunan river is the best of the worst IMO. i've been meaning to go out to daniel wong's though as i hear it's pretty good. bo luc lac at mai's is always very good as is the soft shell crab in butter sauce. i've been to hue a couple times and it's quite pricey for vietnamese but most of the dishes have been good. there are two reviews of hue on my blog too but i haven't tried the bo luc lac there although the chef personally recommended that dish to me.

Sep 03, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Birthday Party Location in Houston

i had a birthday party at la vista on fountainview in their private dining room (PDR). they do a fixed price family style dinner there. i can't remember the price. maybe $45 per person and it included crostini, salad, a ton of meats and veggies, pasta, and dessert.

i have to admit that the main draw for me however was not the food (which is good but not great) but the fact it is BYOB. i forgot how much corkage is too, but definitely worth it as we brought in some really expensive wines for the evening. there is also a liquor/wine store next door where we bought extra champagne.

we had our own server all night and they have a little boombox in the room so you can bring your own CD's to play or go through their CD library. it was a wonderful evening and highly recommend it.

for something nicer, reef has a PDR in their glass encased wine vault. not sure how many it seats.

VOICE's is the best as you can peek into the kitchen but i believe the minimum bill will have to be $1500 to reserve it. read my blog for restaurant review and photos of the wine vault. i arranged a houston restaurant week group dinner for the houston chowhounds in there.

Sep 03, 2008
neverfull in Houston

BBQ in Houston

if you are a serious chowhound, i recommend pierson's too. however it's a to go place so hopefully you live close by. you can eat there on the narrow countertops they installed along one window but it's not an ideal situation.

i'd recommend luling city market if you want to go to a "restaurant." you still won't get table service there but the dining room is pretty large and the location is convenient too.

burns and virgie's made the texas monthly top 50. i haven't been to either but i think both of them may be closed on tuesday.

texas monthly top bbq article:

Sep 03, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Houston: kids friendly AND good

lupe tortilla is definitely kid friendly. in fact, i refuse to go b/c sipping margaritas with a backdrop of screaming children makes me cringe. so hate me!

lupe is very popular for some reason (even to those w/o kids). i know a lot of people who really like the food. again, i can't get over the screaming children.

IMO, any casual, non-trendy places should be fine for kids especially if you are out in the burbs. inside the loop, you have to be more careful as people are less tolerant. for decent casual food try amazon grill and any of the goode company or pappas (pappas seafood, pappadeaux, pappasitos) restaurants.

Aug 26, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Austin, Galveston, Houston for Labor Day week

valleyfever, have a great time in houston and where ever you decide to go please report back.

Aug 26, 2008
neverfull in Texas

[Houston] Catalan - quick review

we must stop talking about the lucien albrecht cremant rose or else it might be $24 the next time i walk into catalan.

btw, i had it at pappas bros steakhouse tonight. $8 a glass. yum-ness.

i love rose bubblies. i also go to ibiza b/c they have the nicolas feuillate rose for $40 a bottle. even better than the cremant.

Aug 24, 2008
neverfull in Houston

Houston oysters happy hour ?

ragin cajun has 25 cent gulf oysters during HH. this was taken directly from their website:

"Don't Miss our Happy Hour ...3PM - 7PM Monday thru Friday.... $2 domestic or $2.50 import bottled beer PLUS $3.50 Ritas or famous Hurricanes.... $3 Wells and .25¢ oysters on the half shell!"

here's a link to the website:

also i read a yelp review that said oceanaire has an oyster happy hour w/ half off oysters. even at half off the oysters will be about a dollar a piece, but you'll find much better quality oysters from the east and west coasts here like malpeques, wellfleets, and kumamotos. call to confirm HH prices and times since my info is just hearsay and please post that info here.

Ragin Cajun
4302 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77027

Oceanaire Seafood Room
5061 Westheimer Rd Suite 8050, Houston, TX 77056

Aug 23, 2008
neverfull in Houston

[Houston] Catalan - quick review

dani, you're welcome! i'm so glad you enjoyed your first catalan experience!

i have to admit that one of the reasons i end up at catalan once a month is b/c of that lucien albrecht rose bubbly. it's only a few dollars more than buying it at spec's and a steal at $22!

my mouth is watering just thinking about the pork belly. and i agree with tlegray that ordering pork belly AND roasted bone marrow in 1 visit is a saturated fat overload, but i doesnt stop me. i've done it many many times. i'm so glad you like fois gras. i've had 2 fois gras terrines (served cold like a pate) lately, 1 at le mistral and 1 at au petit paris. i'll post reviews soon.

Aug 23, 2008
neverfull in Houston

[HOU] Review: Sichuan Hot Pot @ Sichuan Cuisine (long)

yes yes yes. peking duck dinner. want to coordinate this one with tetsujustin. btw, T. is tatitraveller from this board.

Aug 22, 2008
neverfull in Houston

[HOU] Review: Sichuan Hot Pot @ Sichuan Cuisine (long)

full review with formatted photos here:

i noticed sichuan hot pot on the menu during my last visit to sichuan cuisine when the houston chowhounds and i were there on our 4 hour soup dumpling crawl. when we walked in this friday evening there were 4 other tables seated with asian patrons. three of those tables already had their own hot pot parties going. this was a good sign! we could see the fiery red pepper spiked broths bubbling, plates of raw meats and veggies laid out, and we were eager to participate ourselves.

we were first seated at a normal square shaped table for 4. when we told our server we were ordering hot pot she first warned us that they close at 10 pm. it was 8:30 at that time, which is an indication that hot pot is usually a long, drawn out affair. i remember when my brother and i used to groan when we found out we were having hot pot at home for supper. it guaranteed that we would be sitting at the dinner table for at least an hour or even longer if we had guests over. our friendly server, the same one from my last visit here, hurried back to the kitchen to tell them to get our soups started and came back with the hot pot menu. she then moved us to a big round table, which we were all excited about.

on the regular menu, sichuan hot pot is listed simply as "house special mini hot pot" for $13.95. however ordering community style hot pot is much more complicated than that. a pen and a separate menu printed on half a sheet of white paper will be brought to you for ordering.

first, choose your soup: yuanyang (half spicy, half mild), all spicy, or all mild. we were ready to go spicy all the way, but the server recommended yuanyang. judging by the look on her face, i knew we had better take her advice.

secondly, pick your raw ingredients, as many as you like:
meats: lamb, shrimp, beef, beef omasum (tripe), lunch meat (spam), intestine, pork blood, fish ball, shrimp ball, crab meat (the fake stuff), sliced fish, sliced chicken, squid
veggies: spinach, gongcai, potato, fungus (mushroom), napa cabbage, eggplant, A choy, cilantro, taro, bamboo shoots, seaweed
others: tofu, cellophane noodles, lo mein noodles, egg (raw), wonton

lastly, pick your dipping sauces: sesame oil, sa tsa sauce (chinese barbecue sauce, made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chillis, brill fish and dried shrimp), and/or sesame sauce. dipping sauces cost $1 each for half a small bowl. we ordered the sa tsa and sesame sauce. neither were very interesting, but weren't bad either.

how to eat hot pot: first the electric burner will be brought to the table. by this time we had already scarfed down a plate of 3 cold appetizers selected from the cold table in the back. we chose garlic cucumbers, sliced beef and mow, and sichuan beef jerky. next the hot pot arrives already filled with both broths. huge platters of raw and frozen food start arriving at the table. at this point, the server lights the burner for us.

the premise is simple. raw food goes into the boiling broth and is left long enough to cook. food is then fished it out with chinese spiders and can be dipped in various sauces to taste. ladles are used to scoop out broth which is usually enjoyed after all the food is cooked. i like drinking the soup all the way through hot pot activities. it's my favorite part of the fun!

a few tips. first, wait for the water to boil before throwing in too many cold items. you don't want the temperature to drop too low. frozen foods such as wontons need to be cooked for at least 8 mins, so throw some of those in first. also stalky vegetables, like napa cabbage, along with potatoes, and chicken usually require longer cooking times so put those in too. tripe, fish and shrimp balls, squid, and tofu don't require a lot of time and don't need to be watched too carefully either.

shrimp and thinly sliced meat such as beef and lamb cook the fastest and care should be taken to not overcook them. make sure the broth is boiling before throwing them in and then shrimp should be pulled out as soon as they turn bright pink, sliced meats should cook through after 30 seconds in the pot. noodles are usually cooked through and just need to be reheated. veggies such as spinach an gongcai cook quickly and will shrink when cooked.

a good safety measure to always remember is to dip your chopsticks in the boiling pot for several seconds after handling raw meats. or simply use a separate pair of chopsticks for eating.

the sichuan side of the pot was extremely spicy and ma la. "ma la" means "numb" and "hot" in chinese and refers to the numbing, tingly sensation of sichuan or flower peppers (hua jiao) . the taste is very unique and fragrant with notes of anise and clove. one of my dinner guests had to take a break b/c the ma la was so overwhelming. i told him to stick to the mild side for awhile. if the spicy side gets too overwhelming, one of the advantages of ordering yuan ying is the versatility - you can add some of the mild broth to the sichuan side of the pot to tame the heat. and if you need more broth as it will inevitably evaporate, just ask your server to bring some more around.

the traditional dipping sauce is made by mixing sa tsa, a raw egg, cilantro, chilis, and soy sauce to taste. we forgot to order eggs, and by the time food started arriving i never asked for it. also, several things we ordered never arrived such as squid, tofu, spinach, mushrooms, eggplant, and seaweed. my advice is to ask for 2 copies of the menu, check off the selections you want on each and keep a copy for the table. however, there were no complaints by anyone at our table. we couldn't even finish the food they brought to us. this is what our hot pot looked like when we were done:

chinatown is cheap right? but just how cheap? at sichuan cuisine, hot pot is a per person charge and an all you can eat affair. hot pot for 2 will cost $15 pp, but for 3 or more it is $13 pp. this is also an option for chinese pickle fish soup for $8 a pot extra, which comes with a live fish (i do remember seeing a live fish tank in the back of the resto). no one in the restaurant was eating fish hot pot and i'm not sure i've ever seen it. dipping sauces are $1 each and are enough for 3 or 4 people.

with a full belly, looking at what was left in the hot pot, i asked T. who just got back from 3 weeks in china what she thought of our dinner. she said she had better sichuan hot pot in a place that specialized in it in beijing, but she said she has also had worse in china. T. also surmised that the meats here in the US were better quality but decided that the sauces in china were much tastier.

the last tip i leave you with and perhaps the most important one is sichuan cuisine is a BYOB establishment. we stopped by welcome food center in the same shopping center to pick up some cold tsingtao beer to enjoy the evening with. the refrigerated case at welcome was almost DOA. T. even added that it wasn't bing pijiu (cold beer). how cute that she learned the essential chinese words during her visit there. so stop somewhere else for the booze.

Sichuan Cuisine
9114 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77036

Aug 22, 2008
neverfull in Houston