Photo by Troy Fields

Samurai Noodle

Samurai Noodle has finally expanded outside its hometown of Seattle and Houston is lucky to be the recipient of the first outbound location. It’s a casual environment, so no one is going to look askance at your jeans and t-shirt. The tonkotsu, a broth made of pork bones simmered for days, is quite good. Even better, especially on hot, humid days, is the kanro tsukemen, or cold dipping ramen. Just as it sounds, diners can dip the contents of a bowl of noodles, shredded pork and big, bulbous chunks of bamboo into the slightly sweet, thick, fish-based broth. Only fools, though, would constrain themselves just to a bowl of ramen when there are so many fun appetizers to play with. The sabayaki, or broiled mackerel with shredded, pickled daikon, is a thing of simplistic, natural beauty while the gyoza will thrill with their frills of starchy, pan-fried lace.