Best New Restaurant - 2010
It says a lot about the changing palates of Houston diners that a highly modern sushi restaurant with a strong undertone of French fusion should be chosen as 2010's best new restaurant. But the food at Kata Robata (and the casual atmosphere that belies some of the menu prices) is truly the biggest draw of any place that's opened in the past year. Omakase platters prepared by the talented Manabu Horiuchi, formerly of Kubo's, are both playful and breathtaking at the same time — as well as quite a bargain. And that's a recurring theme at Kata Robata: fresh, flavorful, high-quality food for a lot less than you'd expect to pay. The enormous bowl of authentic Japanese ramen with a sweet, meaty broth and plenty of pork and noodles is a shining example, as are the delectable panko-crusted lamb lollipops with ginger sauce that are as fun to eat as they are delicious.