This may be one of my favorite restaurant chains. Houston’s offers a home feel with a bit of class and sophistication. It doesn’t try to be pretentious and is not image driven. They let the food speak for itself. It is a step above Yard House, which is a large step above TGIFriday. Though I didn’t really know what to expect, I was impressed with the food.
We ordered the spicy tuna roll salad. On the menu, it said “inside out #1 tuna roll”. We didn’t know what the whole #1 thing was about, so I asked the waitor. Supposedly, that meant it was top grade tuna. The tuna was indeed fresh and wrapped with greens avacado. I liked that the tuna was whole and not chopped up. Well, why would anyone chop up #1 tuna anyways? The mango and lettuce salad was a nice touch. The ponzu sauce was delicious with it. It looked too good to eat, but guess what — I did anyways.
The Hawaiian ribeye is a sure thing here. I like my steaks rare, and they cooked mine perfectly. It is marinated in a subtly sweet sauce and the then grilled over hardwood. The taste was amazing. The sweetness was a nice change to a lot of steak I had in the past. It was juicy and had a perfect fat to meat ratio.
The barbecue pork ribs were good as well. It had a nice sauce which is important to any BBQ dish. There was a lot of meat and flavor was definitely there, though a bit more meat would have been better — the ribs were kind of skimp. The best part of this dish was the cole slaw with parsley. It was such a simple side dish, but it made all the difference. The crunch from the cabbage and chew from the meat was a great combination.
Houson’s in Irvine was a great dinner. The atmosphere was friendly and sophisticated at the same time. Food was perfect. The price is a bit on the steep side, but you get what you pay for. In hind sight, it was worth it. I still dream about that ribeye.