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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Sun–Thu 11:30am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:30am–10:30pm

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


9527 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX
(713) 784-5168
No-frills, consistently executed Japanese that doesn’t require you feeling lucky

Kaneyama is as good as when it first opened about two decades ago, with its straightforward menu that’s low on the frills and never fails to deliver. If chef-owner Keeper Lin was a movie star, he’d be Clint Eastwood, with his straight-shooting, hard-charging, gruff attitude and unwavering enthusiasm for hard work. While many other sushi bars in Houston cater to a crowd that’s there to throw back sake bombs and go gaga over complicated rolls that end up tasting like nothing but mayo, cream cheese, or avocado, Keeper has cultivated sushi that’s simple and high quality; totally worthy of its following.

Little touches show how much these sushi chefs care; yellowtail and yellowtail belly are served separately, the belly a gorgeous, fatty cut that melts in your mouth. Flounder is cut thin to display the white fish’s unique texture; another treat is the sea trout, as oily as salmon but with smaller, sweeter flakes. Hot food is not an afterthought, either. Tempura is, for the most part, beautifully fried, with the flavor and texture of its innards beautifully preserved. Onigiri, or grilled rice balls, are a rare treat in town; they’re firm and a touch charry. Agedashi tofu is also outstanding—the pinnacle of Japanese comfort food from the capable hands who know its simple pleasures best.

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