I hate doing this but unfortunately, I'm going to be the voice of dissension based on 1) never having tried it; and 2) just looking at your picture and the picture of a friend (who went there after reading this review).
Although your ramen looks studiedly more fresh, my observation of both pics I've seen are this: there's not enough topping, too many noodles and not enough broth. In your picture all the toppings sit on the top of the noodles. In my friend's picture, the toppings were drowned a bit below the surface and didn't look appetizing at all.
So for me, having had a sub-par experience with their tonkatsu curry plate (such a disappointment), the two statements "This is Japanese food as the Japanese eat it" and "it's difficult not to love the little place" are really a stretch. I would rate it as "just OK" Japanese fast food --at best. I've had far superior Japanese fast food in West LA / greater Los Angeles / San Francisco / Vancouver, and unfortunately Cafe Kubo's does not compare favorably to the generally excellent Japanese fast food there.
I love the vague comparisons everyone makes between a particular dish at a particular spot in Houston and the "superior" food in LA or SF. We all have nostalgic places and fond memories of this place or that place, but cut the west coast food arrogance already, its so silly. When a good Japanese chef moves to Houston and makes the same exact dish he made in NYC, LA, Chi, or Japan, the food and ambiance immediately gets poopooed by everyone whose ever driven through LA. So weak.I went to this place, and while I am not Japanese, nor a ramen connoisseur, I do cook and eat good food, and my miso ramen bowl was very tasty.