The occasional California roll hits the spot, especially for a last minute craving for sushi. However, one might want to make time for an amazing sushi experience at one of Houston’s latest hot spot, Kukuri in the Heights.
One would expect nothing less from Michelin-starred chef Shimao Ishikawa. This is the same sushi veteran (over 40 years in the industry) who created the best omakase menu New York had ever seen while running Jewel Bako in East Village. Now, he’s in Houston serving sophisticated meals for all, which is no small task. For a casual setting, this authentic Japanese restaurant provides all the bells and whistles of the usual stuffy, jackets-only establishment. That‘s because Kukuri is not your average Japanese spot. Not by far. Meaning no sushi rolls here, people! The menu includes specialty items such as A5 waygu, homemade sesame tofu and various combinations of sushi and sashimi. Not to mention that Kukuri has the freshest fish around, flown in from Japan’s famed Tsuki Market.
Fair warning: if having the omasake, it is best to make a reservation to reserve a prime seat.
As for the atmosphere, Kukuri has an industrial look and refined trimmings. The exposed piping, high ceiling, playful hanging scrolls (as wall décor) and bar station for chefs lend to a perfectly enjoyable and relaxing dining experience. To add to that, the space compliments distinctive items that make Kukuri unique, such as the omotenashi greeting when guests arrive and special menus made with hand-painted paper and an indigo cord.
Kukuri is open Sunday to Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays.