Eating Good in the Neighborhood at Sakura Japanese Steakhouse

When a trusted friend from the Inner Loop of Houston recommends a restaurant in Pearland to me, I listen. As such, I found myself heading down FM 518 to sample Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. My friend had advised me to try some of the sushi rolls, which he likened to those being offered at trendy Houston sushi establishments, but at much lower prices. I was so set on sushi that I was surprised when the hostess asked me whether I wanted to do hibachi-style seating or order off the regular menu. My friend and I were on a sushi track, so we were seated in one of the roomy booths located at the front of the modernly decorated restaurant.

We started off with order standard order of miso soup, edamame, and agedashi tofu. The miso was a bit disappointing with a fairly bland broth and not much else going on. The agedashi tofu, however, was amazing. The tofu was soft and silky, lightly breaded and fried tempura-style, served piping hot in a sticky-sweet sauce with a generous topping of bonito flakes. I have to admit that I was a bit piggish with this delicious appetizer and had eaten almost all of it before my poor friend even had the chance to try it.

For our main course, we sampled both sashimi and sushi rolls. Plump slices of gloriously coral salmon were served fresh alongside thickly peppered slivers of tuna. The fish was fresh and tasty. We selected the girlishly named Victoria's Secret roll, filled with strawberries, shrimp tempura, avocado and a few other ingredients that I no longer remember, wrapped in pink soy paper and topped with three tasty sauces. We also got the Sakura special, which was an avocado and tuna roll topped with crunchy bits of tempura. Both of these rolls were huge and could have a made a meal in and of themselves. Priced at about $12 a piece, they weren't exactly cheap, but certainly less than the huge signature rolls you find at more upscale places around town.

Our server was friendly and on top of everything we needed without being overbearing; the restaurant hummed with energy but wasn't obnoxiously loud; and the food was all well-prepared and moderately priced. First MerCheri's boudin balls, and now Sakura's sushi? Pearland is definitely gaining more and more dining options.

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Geri Maria Harris