International Smoke, the new California restaurant from celebrity chef Michael Mina and Ayesha Curry, has a 2.5 rating on Yelp as of this writing. This is not because of the quality of the food, the service, or the decor—because the restaurant hasn't even opened yet. This is because of competition. This is because of rivalry. It’s because of basketball. It’s because Mr. Ayesha Curry plays basketball for the Golden State Warriors. It’s because that thing we all knew would happen happened.
Wait, you mean to tell me you didn’t see this coming? You have so much more faith in your fellow humans than I do.
Ever since International Smoke announced that it was heading to Houston, finding a home at CityCentre, I’ve been waiting for this sneaker to drop. It just seemed like the obvious conclusion, especially in 2018, when the Rockets played so well and got so far only for things to play out as they did. I get that Mina and Curry are magnitudes smarter than me and put tons of thought into their expansion plans, but still.
Now, in a few months, this is something we’ll likely barely remember. Yelp will clean out the bad reviews, International Smoke will open, and they’ll be judged—one assumes mostly fairly—by what is coming out of their kitchen and not because of who one of the owners chose to spend her life with. Seriously y’all, did none of you think about how misogynistic this would make you look?
So, ignoring all the basketball-related unpleasantness, if you want to check out International Smoke for yourself, they’re already taking reservations; you can get at them by calling (713) 714-0126. At their opening, the focus will be on dinner and happy hour, but they are hoping to expand to lunch and brunch over the summer. In terms of food, Curry and Mina’s vision is “exploring global approaches to fire, grilling and smoke to create flavorful dishes that bring people together.” And yet here you monsters are trying to pull everyone apart because of basketball.
Personally speaking, I’ve always thought that the takeaway here should be that Curry thinks so highly of the Rockets she wants a nice place to eat when they inevitably clash with the Warriors in the playoffs for the next few years. Because if you can’t trust the food from your own restaurant in the belly of the beast, what can you trust? These Rocket fans out here are ruthless.