Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Josh

Izakaya Wa, Izakaya with Small Plates at 12665 Memorial Drive, Memorial - Chef Hajime Kubokawa Founded Kubo's

Recommended Posts

While we wait for our moving truck to arrive, we are staying with family in Memorial, in the Western part of Houston.  The whole family, 2 small kids in tow, had dinner at Izaykaya Wa on Memorial Dr. last night.  I luckily called ahead and made a reservation, as it was packed to the gills with a boisterous group of drinkers/noshers when we arrived.  This is a true Izakaya, being a great place to throw down a few beers and munch on yakitori and kushiage.  It reminded Cristina and I of our old NYC haunt, Village Yokocho.  We shared a number of things, mainly standards (edamame, vegetable tempura, takoyaki, seaweed salad).  All were done well, especially the takoyaki, which were thankfully not drowning in Kewpie mayo.  The chirashi and special rolls we shared were fine for a place that is not focussed on sushi.  Chicken skin and chicken thigh skewers were nicely grilled, the skin deliciously crispy and salty.  A whole grilled squid served alongside grilled slices of jalapeño (we are in TX after all) was mildly flavored and a bit too chewy...the only real miss of the night.  Everything was washed down with several rounds of Asahi and Sapporo, and thankfully the exuberance of our fellow diners drowned out any squeals of protestation from our smaller dining companions.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JoshNE said:

 The whole family, 2 small kids in tow, had dinner at Izaykaya Wa on Memorial Dr. last night.  

So, this is the one restaurant in the entire nation I want to hit up right now, as I used to work at a restaurant that Chef Kubokawa-san ran in Indiana.  I understand he is there now, and it has been almost 20 years.  I literally just located him on the Internets like 3 days ago.  I am so jealous of you right now.  He is a sushi master, hopefully he is in good health.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, DaRiv18 said:

So, this is the one restaurant in the entire nation I want to hit up right now, as I used to work at a restaurant that Chef Kubokawa-san ran in Indiana.  I understand he is there now, and it has been almost 20 years.  I literally just located him on the Internets like 3 days ago.  I am so jealous of you right now.  He is a sushi master, hopefully he is in good health.  

Wow.  I did not know that! And now I'll have to go back and sit at the counter to see how he's doing and get a better sense of his work.  Small world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep.  In Houston, he was the opening chef for Kubo's, and has worked at several other places in the city.  He is well-known by the Japanese community there, and I imagine still held in high esteem.  He always preferred making sushi over sashimi, his rice is a bit sweet, and he slices large cuts for nigiri.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Made a 24 hour detour to stop in Izakaya Wa to say hello.  Located in a part of Houston that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, apparently it had closed for several months.  Thankfully, it is reopened, and I am so envious that I cannot go more often.  The place was packed, inside and out, young and old, etc.  The food is more interesting than the drink IMO, but the prices are reasonable to this DMVer. 

Kubokawa-san is no longer behind the sushi bar (it can be physically grueling, and is when you are a perfectionist like he is) but oversees all things food.  It's funny that it bills itself as a tapas spot, but yes, there are many sharable plates.  I went for some seared sashimi, fried vegetables, kinpira, and some special grilled smelt.  It is a bright, cheery, friendly spot and I can't imagine you could "order wrong" here. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, DaRiv18 said:

Made a 24 hour detour to stop in Izakaya Wa to say hello.  Located in a part of Houston that was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, apparently it had closed for several months.  Thankfully, it is reopened, and I am so envious that I cannot go more often.  The place was packed, inside and out, young and old, etc.  The food is more interesting than the drink IMO, but the prices are reasonable to this DMVer. 

Kubokawa-san is no longer behind the sushi bar (it can be physically grueling, and is when you are a perfectionist like he is) but oversees all things food.  It's funny that it bills itself as a tapas spot, but yes, there are many sharable plates.  I went for some seared sashimi, fried vegetables, kinpira, and some special grilled smelt.  It is a bright, cheery, friendly spot and I can't imagine you could "order wrong" here. 

Such a great spot. Shoot me a message next time you’re coming through H Town!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×