Yoichi "Yogi" Ueno opened the first Kubo's Sushi in the Village in 2001. "We wanted to expand into a fast-food restaurant serving healthy Japanese fast food with our new Cafe Kubo's [9889 Bellaire, 713-995-4200]," he says.
"Most of the Japanese restaurants in Houston are going for the high end but serve poor-quality food. We're doing the opposite — serving high-quality food at low prices. All of our menu items are under $10, but for that you get counter service only. We couldn't keep the prices down and offer full-service at the same time. Most of the Japanese restaurants in Houston are not run by Japanese people; they're run by Koreans, Chinese and Vietnamese. We have a very casual atmosphere where people expect their food to be served quickly, and then they go — they don't stick around. The focus of the restaurant is on the quality of the food."
Ueno stumbled into the restaurant business after earning his MBA from St. Thomas and a successful career as an oil industry executive. One evening he had dinner with sushi master Hajimi Kubokowa and promised the master he would open a restaurant and name it after him.
Cafe Kubo's Sushi
Dish loved the cool, modern, inviting interior and found it both calming and yet efficient. The chicken udon soup (Japanese noodles) was a treat, while the nigiri combination sushi platter was plenty for lunch. The menu also included five different bento boxes and a host of tempura and curry dishes.
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