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Houston Restaurant Weeks: Soma Sushi

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What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: During the month of Houston Restaurant Weeks, Soma Sushi offers a four-course dinner for $35 per person, from which the restaurant will donate $5 to the Houston Food Bank. The fact that I could have four courses from an awesome sushi restaurant for just $35 was reason enough for me to visit Soma Sushi. Most menu items are $12-$15, so I considered this a steal.

Service/Atmosphere: I always recommend getting a reservation during HRW because you have no idea what the crowd is going to be like. Soma Sushi has a calming and relaxing environment while you sip on wine and sake and enjoy the food. The wait staff is extremely knowledgeable and is more than willing to give you a detailed explanation about each offering, as well as which items they enjoy the most. Our waiter took our order for all four courses and made sure that they all came out at separate times, which was much appreciated; we got to focus on the food rather than making decisions between each course.

Items that won't be on the regular menu: The only menu item not available on the regular menu is the Tonkotsu Ramen; I am so disappointed this amazing traditional ramen bowl will not be on the regular menu because it is just that good. Perfectly al dente curly noodles sit inside a salty pork broth with tender pork belly, wilted spinach leaves, mushrooms, corn and a poached egg. Dive right into the slightly sweet, but savory pork belly and pair it with a bite of the runny egg yolk; it's a match made in heaven.

Don't Miss This Dish: For the first course, you can't miss the ceviche endive shooters complete with sweet chunks of mango, jalapeno, avocado and fresh flounder, octopus and shrimp. Each bite has the perfect amount of heat to balance the refreshing seafood and sweet chunks of mango. Follow the shooters with the delicate uni sitting atop two pieces of king crab. We took our waiter's recommendation and topped the uni and crab with the pickled cucumbers; it rounds out the entire bite so the uni isn't as powerful - for those of you who are afraid to try uni, now is your chance. Other than the Tonkotsu Ramen for the third course, the 4-piece Nigiri and Roll dish complete with tuna, salmon, madai and ebi, and the soma crispy roll is a delicious main course. This generously portioned course is a steal as far as prices go.

Don't Bother: The tofu and eggplant curry sounds good at first, but really the only thing that is good is the curry sauce. Everything else is just kind of mushy, so it was a real downer compared to the rest of the dishes we tried. Forewarning about the desserts, they are much smaller than you might think. The trio sorbet has teaspoon scoops of three sorbet flavors and the peach cake is a bite-sized portion of cake. I suggest having the trio sorbet as a palate cleanser and ordering the bread pudding I saw at the table next to me. Now that was a dessert.

Final Verdict: For $35 per person, this HRW menu is worth it. You have the opportunity to try delicious appetizers and entrees you don't normally have, so expand your palate and dine at Soma Sushi for dinner this month.

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