Sushi Tora

Ken Takagi and his mother own the successful Coco's Yakitori Sushi Bar on Westheimer. Now Takagi has opened another sushi bar called Sushi Tora (920 Studemont, 713-864-8672) just off the hopping Washington corridor. "Coco's is a lot bigger. It's 4,000 square feet. Tora is 1,100 square feet. At Coco's the crowd is very artsy, while at Tora they're younger professionals," says Takagi.

When Dish visited one lunchtime, the first thing that struck us was the dramatic black-and-white decor. While the menu is still in the development stage, there are many different kinds of sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls, and the freshness and quality are evident from the first bite. The area around Tora is growing rapidly. "There's a lot of foot traffic where we are, and since the closest sushi bar is Soma, way down on Washington, we're really busy," said Ken. "We don't yet have our beer and wine license and the kitchen is not fully operational, but people have already found us. It's crazy in here on the weekends. Last Saturday, we ran out of rice."

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Paul Galvani