Located in a strip mall on the northwest side of town, Taiko is a mom-and-pop Japanese restaurant run by Taiko and her husband, Janichi Norjiri. The restaurant specializes in traditional Japanese fare such as tonkatsu (pork cutlet), tempura, donburi (rice bowl), ramen, and meat and fish dishes. The tempura is not be missed and is some of the best in Houston. The same goes for the salmon salad, made with thick-cut, medium rare chunks attractively arranged around a mound of mixed greens. It’s topped with slivers of crispy salmon-skin chicharrón and a mustard dressing. The chef’s tasting, or omakase, requires a three-day advance booking. The restaurant caters to a primarily Japanese clientele, and though there is a slight language barrier if you don’t speak Japanese, Taiko, the hostess and owner, is warm and welcoming.