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Skip the sad grocery store sushi. We talked to Jean Philippe Gaston, executive chef at Izakaya, and asked him where to find the best Japanese joints around town. Here's what he had to say: 

Favorite Sushi | Kata Robata & Nippon

“Kata Robata by far, and 'disco Kroger!' Hahaha, just kidding. Nippon is another one, it’s a great neighborhood place.”

Favorite Ramen | Ninja Ramen

“I recently had Ninja, and it was one of the best ramens I’ve had here in Houston.”

Pic 5 wrmjse

Chef Jean Philippe Gaston of Izakaya

Favorite Bento Box | Miyako

“Miyako always makes the oldies but goodies.”

Favorite Chicken Katsu | Better Luck Tomorrow

“Better Luck Tomorrow’s chicken has got to be the best! I don’t know if this qualifies as a Japanese joint, but it’s simple and great.”

Favorite Yakitori | Genji Japanese Restaurant & Karaoke Bar

“My favorite giant squid, gizzards, yakitori and katsu don all fall in the same category, or at least same answer: Genji’s.”

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In this Article

Better Luck Tomorrow

Cocktails, Happy Hour, Outdoor Patio, Pub Grub 544 Yale St.

This converted Heights gas station from partners Bobby Heugel and Justin Yu becomes our destination of choice whenever storm clouds appear and it starts to r...

Genji Japanese Restaurant & Karaoke Bar

$$ Japanese, Sushi 11124 Westheimer Rd.

This Westchase haunt specializes in two things—Japanese bar food and karaoke—and it offers both until 2 a.m. every day of the week. You don’t have to sing fo...

Editor’s Pick

Ninja Ramen

$$ Japanese, Sushi 4219 Washington Ave

The beauty of this dive bar–cum–restaurant is in its straightforwardness: ramen is basically all they sell. Which is not to say that there aren’t choices—e.g...


$$ Japanese 4464 Montrose Blvd.

Nippon, a quaint Japanese restaurant on a pleasant, tree-lined part of lower Montrose, has been a low-key gem and a favorite of Houston’s Japanese expats sin...

Editor’s Pick

Kata Robata

$$$ Japanese, Sushi 3600 Kirby Dr.

Kata Robata is, quite simply, the best sushi restaurant in Houston. Sitting at chef Manabu Horiuchi’s counter and ordering the omakase—Japanese for “I’ll lea...


$$$ Japanese 318 Gray St.

Thanks to chef Manabu Horiuchi’s partnership with chef Jean-Philippe Gaston, the eatery boasts interesting Japanese-by-way-of-Houston fusion dishes—chicken-f...