“What the Fearless Critic books and apps have that UrbanSpoon and Yelp don’t is a complete lack of bullshit.”
“I’ve spent years driving around with Zagat...but I think I’ll replace it with this Fearless Critic guide.”
–Leslie Brenner,
Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Japanese, Modern
Casual restaurant

Mon–Wed 11:30am–11:00pm
Thu–Fri 11:30am–midnight
Sat noon–midnight
Sun noon–10:00pm

Features Good wines, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


4820 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX
(713) 861-2726
Innovation and noise and sex-appeal, but also some quiet moments of excellence

Soma captures the exposed-pipe vibe of the Washington Avenue scene with Japanese-fetishist reds and blacks, woven seats, picture-window-sized screens depicting austere woods and tattooed body parts. Loud music competes with the shrieking laughter of attention-starved twentysomethings, while an elevated dining area lets diners gawk at each other. This is far from a romantic dinner; then again, jealousy is a powerful aphrodisiac. And the trouble isn’t that the food isn’t good—occasionally it’s even great—it’s just that the pretense speaks louder than any dish.

Recipes will seem flashy to some, derivative to others—which wouldn’t be so bad if the execution were consistently there. We’ve been told that fish shipments are on Tuesdays and Fridays; on those days, we’ve had much better sushi, although the rice is often packed a bit too cold and tight. If the sashimi seems stringy and off-tasting that night, ask for hamachi or sake kama, where tender, succulent yellowtail or salmon cheek (or collar) meat is grilled to perfection. In fact, we’ve more often enjoyed Soma’s cooked dishes, especially those off the menu: handmade ramen noodles in excellent broth, outstanding short ribs, and smoked pork with Fuji apple.

Eschew the silly, candyish cocktails for the thorough sake list, despite its high mark-ups. Or ask your server for a good Riesling…if they can hear you above all the noise.

Be the first to leave a comment…