Restaurant Reviews

Review: Gyu-Kaku Brings Japanese Barbecue to Houston in Style

"Just 15 to 20 seconds per side," said our server as she delivered a plate of toro beef tare to the table. One of the several meat selections that came with our course menu for two, this looked different from the rest. Heavily striated with fat, the thin strips looked a lot like bacon. When placed on the grill, they behaved a lot like bacon, too.

The instant the meat touched the latticed metal surface of the hot grill, it contracted, its edges curling and eventually attaining a crisp black char. Seconds later I dipped the still piping-hot piece in the house sauce and plopped it into my mouth, savoring the almost-instant gratification with pleasure. Its texture reminded me of just-crisped guanciale, light yet juicily unctuous; I definitely wanted more of it.

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Mai Pham is a contributing freelance food writer and food critic for the Houston Press whose adventurous palate has taken her from Argentina to Thailand and everywhere in between -- Peru, Spain, Hong Kong and more -- in pursuit of the most memorable bite. Her work appears in numerous outlets at the local, state and national level, where she is also a luxury travel correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide.
Contact: Mai Pham