Kata Robata

Vietnamese restaurant Hue recently reincarnated as the Japanese Kata Robata (3600 Kirby, 713-526-8858). Dish asked Yun Cheng, who also brought us Azuma and Soma sushi spots, what happened. "The construction on Kirby really hurt us," Yun said. "Plus, Jenny Do, our chef, decided to go back to New York, where she is from. We decided to return to what we know well, sushi, and we managed to get Manubu Horiuchi to be our sushi chef.

Kata Robata will also feature Japanese grilling on a new patio. "Robata" means "open-flame cooking," and "kata" means small dishes, or the Japanese equivalent of tapas. The new menu is an interesting blend of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. Hori, as the chef is known, is getting creative with dishes like foie gras with daikon, or Kobe beef tataki, in which he mixes the meat with mushrooms and truffle oil.

When Dish visited, we enjoyed an unusual smoked duck salad and an incredible kakuni, or braised pork belly, that was served over a bed of spinach. The meal started with the Kata sushi platter, which highlighted the chef's presentation skills, but rumor has it that the omakase, or chef's choice, is the dish to order.

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Paul Galvani