All-You-Can-Eat Bait

At this sushi buffet, the lobster is gone Todai. Will it be here tomorrow?

When I get home I call Jasper White, the author of Lobster at Home and the owner and head chef of Jasper's Summer Shack restaurants in Boston. "Is there a lobster shortage this year?" I ask him, telling him about the sign at Todai.

"No," he says. "It was a cold winter, so the season started a little late, but there is no shortage. Their sign ought to say, 'We don't feel like paying eight bucks a pound for lobster.' "

With a few luxury items like lobsters and king crab legs, you feel pretty good about shelling out $20 or $25 for Todai's buffet. (The price varies according to what day it is.) Take away the lobsters and crab legs and it's not much of a value. I end up eating a bowl of noodles, a bunch of dumplings and five or six pieces of unagi. I could have gotten better food for less almost anywhere.

Items in the buffet range from tasty to less appealing 
Troy Fields
Items in the buffet range from tasty to less appealing offerings.

Location Info


Todai Japanese Restaurant

7620 Katy
Houston, TX 77024

Category: Restaurant > Asian

Region: Outer Loop - NW


Todai Lunch: Monday through Friday: $12.95
Lunch: Saturday, Sunday and holidays: $14.95
Dinner: Monday through Thursday: $22.95
Dinner: Friday through Sunday and holidays: $23.95
7620 Katy Freeway, suite 300, 713-682-0009. Hours: lunch, daily, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner, Monday through Thursday, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday and holidays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

My daughter eats two plates of sushi and then goes to the dessert station for a fresh-made crepe stuffed with whipped cream and topped with chocolate and caramel. None of my complaints or reservations makes a dent in her enthusiasm.

"Wouldn't you rather go to a regular sushi bar?" I ask her.

"No way," she responds. She says she feels guilty when she gets a lot of sushi at a regular restaurant because she knows it costs a lot. Here she doesn't have to worry about how much of my money she's spending. There's also a wider variety, and you can see it all right in front of you instead of wondering what the foreign words on the menu mean.

But the most attractive thing about Todai, she finally confesses, is its location in the Marq*E Entertainment Center, a teen mecca complete with skatepark, electronic game arcade, offbeat clothing stores and a megaplex. Which evidently makes it a great place to check out boys. No wonder she encourages me to have a beer in the sports bar while she plays a few video games.

I recommend you go to Todai only when they have lobster and king crab legs on the buffet line. She recommends you bring your teenagers.

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