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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
8.2
8.0
$50
Japanese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri 11:00am–11:00pm
Sat noon–11:00pm
Sun noon–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

www.sage400.com

Galleria
2800 Sage Rd.
Houston, TX
(713) 961-9566
Sage 400
A wannabe-posh lounge with better renditions of the usual suspects

At first, Sage 400 seems like a trendy cash cow, but even given its club vibe, it distinguishes itself with well-executed food that is, at times, really stunning. It certainly tries to create a sleek, sexy feel: it’s insanely dark, and every piece of furniture has this lacquered-up whorish look to it. The booths and banquettes remind us of throwback, coach-class, Southwest-Airlines upholstery.

But where modernized Japanese dishes are concerned, Sage 400 really brings its A-game. Paper-thin slices of yellowtail and jalapeño harmonize clean flavors of sweet and spicy; agedashi tofu is fantastic, served piping hot from the fryer with shavings of bonito on top, and an umami-bomb tentsuyu (dashi-based) broth on the bottom; and the ubiquitous miso-marinated cod is a buttery, sweet treat, without the graininess and off taste we get elsewhere. Of the rolls, a “Triple Delight” is most interesting, with tuna, salmon, and hamachi wrapped in cucumber, not seaweed, and served in ponzu sauce and with a liberal sprinkling of togarashi (a Japanese spice blend). Tempura is no good here, coming cool and tasteless.

For best results, let the knowledgeable waitstaff guide you. Avoid the staple stuff you can get at any low-grade, trendy sushi bar—and for heaven’s sake, hands off the sticky-sweet ’tini list.

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