Craving Japanese? Check out these 3 new Houston spots

Photo: Blackbird Izakaya/Yelp

Looking for your next great Japanese meal in Houston? These new spots will satisfy all your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in the mood for Japanese food.

Blackbird Izakaya

1221 W. 11th St., The Heights
Photo: Blackbird Izakaya/Yelp

Blackbird Izakaya is a pub that recently opened with a menu of casual Japanese fare. According to Eater Houston, the new spot is helmed by chef Billy Kin and is under the umbrella of Delicious Concepts, which was also behind former occupant Republic Diner and Noodle Bar.

On the menu, you'll find small plates, both hot and cold, which include ankimo, a dish of marinated monkfish liver; gobo chips made of fried burdock root with brown sugar and cinnamon; and gyoza dumplings with pork, cabbage and ginger. Noodle bowls, rice dishes and tonkotsu and spicy miso ramen are also on offer.

Blackbird Izakaya is off to a strong start with a current Yelp rating of five stars out of four reviews.

Yelper Michael S., who was the first to review it on Aug. 21, wrote, "Sat at the bar and ordered a couple of their skewers, tapas-style. The enoki-wrapped pork belly was my favorite. The gyoza was unbelievable -- best ginger dish I've had that wasn't overpowered."

Wilson X. noted, "Cool place. The interior is exactly like the ones in Japan. The food is cheap compared to other Japanese restaurants, plus the quality is higher."

Blackbird Izakaya is open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday.

Sapporo Japanese Sushi & Bar

801 Congress Ave., Unit 101, Downtown
Photo: Chen J./Yelp

Sapporo Japanese Sushi & Bar has debuted in the Henry Henke Building, in the space formerly occupied by Fusion Taco. According to Swamplot, it has two other locations in the Houston area.

On the menu, look for sushi rolls, such as the Tiger Eye roll, New York roll and Sky Diver roll. You'll also see appetizers like gyoza, edamame, fried spring rolls and more. The bar serves wine, sake, beers and cocktails, and features special happy hour meals like chicken teriyaki, shrimp katsu curry and fried oysters.

Yelpers are excited about Sapporo Japanese Sushi & Bar, which currently holds five stars out of nine reviews on the site.

Elaine L., who reviewed it on Aug. 8, wrote, "The menu is simple and very well done. The options are well rounded, a mixture of creative rolls and traditional dishes. The quality of ingredients are top notch."

Yelper Mikey A. wrote, "Awesome addition to downtown! Staff are friendly & attentive. Food is delicious, and great presentation!"

Sapporo Japanese Sushi & Bar is open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

Izakaya Hi

12637 Westheimer Road, Suite 140, West Oaks
Photo: James C./Yelp

Izakaya Hi is a Japanese pub that has small and large private karaoke rooms available.

On the menu, look for dishes like tonkatsu curry with pork cutlet and Japanese curry, the bulgogi burger, a spicy Korean seafood soup with soba noodles, chicken teriyaki, sushi rolls and more. (See the menu here.)

With seven reviews on Yelp thus far, Izakaya Hi currently has a 4.5-star rating, indicating good reviews.

Yelper Tuyen V., who visited the new spot on Aug. 7, wrote, "Great food, great service and nice decor. What more could you possibly want? The prices are very reasonable for Japanese cuisine. There are a lot of varied items on the menu. I really enjoyed the soba cold noodles. The bulgogi burger was amazing! And huge!"

Steve L. said, "This is my new favorite Japanese restaurant in Houston. Excellent food at reasonable prices and great service. I will be back to try one of the private karaoke rooms soon."

Interested? Izakaya Hi is open from 11:30 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. on Friday, noon-2 a.m. on Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. on Sunday.
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