Midtown isn’t necessarily known for food, unless you’re talking about hitting the Kimchi fries food truck outside of PubFiction after a night Howling at the Moon. But, I actually visit Midtown more now for food than Vodka Sodas.
Enter: Izakaya, which claims to be Houston’s only Japanese gastropub, and honestly I haven’t seen anything else like it. I knew zero percent of all the menu items and kind of blindly guessed and/or asked the server what’s ordered a lot.
Feeling brave, we YOLOed and ordered the drinks the server said were popular. Mine came in a little glass bottle, and no, it wasn’t water. It was The Soon to be Famous “Midori” Special. Melony, milky (clear milky, which was weird), and for me it was not my favorite tasting cocktail. It tasted like coconut milk or water. But it was smooth and definitely an adventure to try. My roommate’s drink was the Mid-Ocean Cooler, which was bourbon, rhubarb, Thai ginger, carrot and lemon. I know, sounds like a juice cleanse (except the bourbon), but it was pretty tasty. I don’t know why, but it tasted like a margarita.
Again, we were without a paddle on the food, but I know I love fries, so we ordered the Izakaya fries that came with a Japanese curry dip, a poached egg and something called “bonito” flakes, which is dried fish and v weird. The beef bulgogi lettuce wraps also looked good and came with these huge cabbage leaves. I literally could have eaten, like, two servings of that. SO GOOD. Plus, they gave me the illusion of being healthy. Hi, lettuce, that’s like salad, right?
Great small plates (like a monocle for an amoeba), but a little pricey for a full dinner and the drinks weren’t exactly the biggest selling point. I’d be interested to see the spot in full swing bar mode, so maybe I’ll be heading back soon…