By Molly Dunn
By Catherine Gillespie
By Brooke Viggiano
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Mai Pham
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Kaitlin Steinberg
By Minh T Truong
La Fisheria made national news after an announcement last week that the owner, Aquiles Chavez, has decided to ban kids under nine years old after 7 p.m. out of respect for other patrons. The announcement was made on La Fisheria's Facebook page.
La Fisheria isn't open on Mondays, so August 6 was the first day the policy was put into action.
We called Chavez at La Fisheria at dinner Tuesday evening to inquire about the response to the new regulation, but we have not been able to reach him.
Chavez tells the Houston Chronicle that the decision came after customers complained about children running around the restaurant while adults were trying to have a romantic or low-key evening away from children — their own or others. Indeed, based on the responses to La Fisheria's Facebook post, it seems that even most parents agree with the decision.
Some seemed less thrilled with the new policy and took issue with the fact that the restaurant calls itself a "family friendly" establishment. Chavez notes that La Fisheria has a kids menu, but that's not good enough for many who think "family friendly" means kids should be allowed in all the time.
The angry parents and individuals really are the exception, though. When KHOU took its cameras out to interview people unhappy with the new decision, the station primarily found people applauding Chavez's choice.
Some people who agree with the policy do note that 7 p.m. might be a little early to stop letting in kids, instead proposing a 9 p.m. cut-off. Another woman on La Fisheria's Facebook wondered how the restaurant will be able to differentiate between a tall six-year-old and a small nine-year-old.
The consensus seems to be echoed by Terry Alexander, who replied to my question about the policy on Twitter.
Two restaurants in Houston have previously attempted to ban an age demographic with little success. Vida Tex Mex and Vegas Grill both closed shortly after implementing "16 and over" policies at the restaurants. Neither restaurant was as well known or as upscale as La Fisheria.
Another question raised by this policy is whether it's acceptable for a restaurant owner or manager to ask a family to leave if a child is being disruptive. Many on La Fisheria's Facebook page suggested that might be an option, but Chavez told the Chronicle, "Customers don't like screaming kids, and you can't tell customers' kids to be quiet."
What do you think? Do you support La Fisheria's decision? And is it ever okay for a restaurant manager to ask a family with a disruptive child to leave?
Houston Restaurant Week
What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Glass Wall is on the higher end of pricing ($45 for dinner instead of the usual $35) for Houston Restaurant Weeks, but it's a case of getting what you pay for. They are only open for dinner. There are optional (and astute) wine pairings by "Grape Alchemist" and co-owner Shepard Ross for the first and second courses at a very reasonable range of $7 to $13 per glass. Splurge on this and go "full-tilt boogie" if you can.
Service/Atmosphere: Glass Wall is noisy, but it's lively, not obnoxious. Go when you're feeling convivial and festive. If you want it a little quieter, snag a booth if one is available. Service is warm and professional. Our server said he's worked with Ross since they were at Zula, which was several years ago. That really says something about the owners and staff.
Items that won't be on the regular menu: Special to the HRW menu are the Jumbo Blue Lump Crabcake, appetizer-size lobster ravioli, hearty veal on risotto (as an appetizer!), a stunning local heirloom tomato salad and the Sweet Corn Crusted Gulf Red Snapper.
Don't Miss This Dish: I made a promise to myself to use HRW this year as an opportunity to check out places I'd never been. Why did I choose Glass Wall as the first to explore? They posted a photo to Facebook of the complex, gorgeous and sophisticated Hereford Beef Tenderloin and I knew I had to have it. It's a symphony of beef, foie gras brûlée topped with huckleberry jam, mashed potatoes with a luscious hit of mascarpone cheese, haricots verts and Cabernet sauce.
Don't Bother: Pass on the paella. The shrimp was good, but the overcooked whitefish put this on the bottom of the list.
Final verdict: Glass Wall is a must-go destination for Houston Restaurant Weeks. Reservations are absolutely required, and I recommend you make one now, even if you don't plan to go right away. Please don't just show up on their doorstep. Thanks, friend.
Low alcohol for high temps.
Nicholas L. Hall
Back in the summer of '93, I got heat stroke. And a concussion. It was my first summer in Houston after ten years in Indiana, with its average July high of 83. I was playing an all-day soccer tournament out in Bear Creek Park, its freshly razed expanse offering no respite from the brutal sun. I had been hydrating on the South Bend plan despite the Houston heat, and it all came to a head in the fourth game of the day.