Craving a Sneak Preview?

Crave Sushi, the long-anticipated late-night sushi joint in Midtown, blew past their scheduled December 2008 opening just like the equally-anticipated Little Big's and Anvil have blown past theirs.  With so many other projects around town being abandoned, people soon became skeptical that Crave would open at all.

But there's good news for all you late-night sushi lovers: Crave has posted pictures of their progress over at the Houston Architecture Info Forums (HAIF), where they've maintained an active account since July 2008, keeping people updated and sharing anecdotes about the pitfalls and perils of opening a restaurant.

The new pictures (interior shots only) show a sleek and modern restaurant with ambient lighting and some interesting seating choices.  Stark geometric designs and a solitary but large piece of Asian-inspired art define the space, with only a small sushi bar visible from the three photographs.

It resembles both a trendy nightclub and an upscale restaurant -- not exactly what one has in mind when they think "late-night dining."  But perhaps it should be.  Perhaps this is exactly what Houston's late-night dining scene needs: a restaurant to fill out the chic end of the spectrum, since places like BB's Cajun Cuisine and the House of Pies have the low-key end solidly filled already.

With plans to stay open until 4:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (and a conservative 10:00 p.m. on other nights), Crave Sushi already has a built-in audience of diners hungry for something other than fast-casual food past midnight.  Its location in Midtown will also virtually ensure that people with more money than sense who come stumbling out of Pub Fiction and The Red Door at 2:00 a.m. will stumble directly into Crave (although that may go a long way towards deterring regular diners).

All that remains to be seen now is...will the actual sushi be any good?

--- Katharine Shilcutt

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Katharine Shilcutt