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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Houston
Food
Feel
Price
7.3
8.0
$60
Japanese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 11:30am–2:30pm
Mon–Thu 5:00pm–10:30pm
Fri 11:30am–2:30pm
Fri 5:00pm–11:00pm
Sat noon–11:00pm
Sun noon–10:00pm

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

www.azumarestaurant.com

Rice Area
5600 Kirby Dr.
Houston, TX
(713) 432-9649

Downtown
909 Texas St.
Houston, TX
(713) 223-0909
Hours
Mon–Fri 11:00am–10:00pm
Sat 5:00pm–midnight

Sugar Land
15830 Southwest Fwy.
(281) 313-0518
Hours
Mon–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri 11:00am–11:00pm
Sat noon–11:00pm
Sun noon–10:00pm
Azuma
Sexy, fun sushi that is best when not taken too seriously

Although Azumi on Dryden is no more, the new Azuma on the Lake is the epitome of catalog-y neatness. We prefer Rice Village’s Azuma; the feng shui’s certainly in order: wood tones and running water are consistent motifs. The space is sparse but welcoming, sexy but not over the top. It walks the tightrope of trendiness without feeling like a club—don’t expect bells, whistles, or loud music. Order family-style, as dishes rarely show up all at the same time.

Given all the vibe, we don’t expect the food to be such a strong point. We wince to recommend the specialty rolls—the most Americanized things you could order—yet they have long been a forte here. Azuma’s famous “Red Devil Roll” is an addictive combination of spiciness and crunch, but the dobin mushi, a teapot soup with seafood in a highly concentrated broth, is often so salty that you’re compelled to drink a glass of water immediately. Hamachi kama is heavenly, with light grilling applied to both the crispy and fleshy parts of the fish. And sashimi is served at the correct temperature, if the large slices speak more to an American expectation of value rather than a Japanese pursuit of perfection. There are silly things like sticky-sweet Hawaiian “teriyaki” bowls and mango-peach cocktails, but if you’re here, you probably have a good sense of humor.

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