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Photo by Stephen Mendoza Photography
Photo by Stephen Mendoza Photography
IT GOES WITHOUT saying that diet is top of mind for many at the start of a new year. While fruits and veggies get lots of chatter for antioxidant benefits, fresh fish is also a major contender for boosting health.
Chef Manabu Horiuchi, aka Chef Hori, recently introduced his second Japanese venture Katami, but his lauded Kata Robata hasn’t slowed down a bit. The Upper Kirby haunt remains on best of Houston sushi lists and stays full most nights due to consistency and quality.
Where Katami has a big Wagyu-5 beef program, as well as sake and unique sushi combos, Kata Robata is strong on fish varieties, daily specials, and Japanese whiskies and sakes. The daily specials menu could include ten different featured sushi and sashimi in addition to the regular menu. Recently, we experienced medai Japanese butter fish, kamasu Japanese red barracuda, hirame Japanese flounder, and shima aji striped Jack, to name a few.
Chef Hori (photo by Shannon O'Hara)
Sushi (photo by Caroline Fontenot)
Housemade fresh seaweed salad (photo by Caroline Fontenot)
When searching for the healthiest fish, chef Hori says it's tough to pinpoint one type of fish because each variety — from salmon and tuna to leaner yellowtail — has a distinct flavor and health benefit. How to know what you like? To fully explore Kata's fish program, order the sashimi omakase. Hori recommends eating fish as often as possible because it's a clean protein, especially Kata's, since it's regularly flown in from Japan. “Additionally, fish is low in fat with many benefits, such as its high omega-three fatty acid content,” says Hori.
As far as his favorite fish-centric dishes on the Kata menu, Hori loves the amberjack sashimi – and when he’s feeling a bit decadent, he likes it prepared with foie gras like it is on the menu with tonic 05, lime juice, olive oil, roasted hazelnuts, and chives. Also, his classic miso marinated black cod — grilled Alaskan black cod served with broccolini and sweet red miso – is both delicious and nutritious.
Other healthful menu choices include an intriguing seaweed salad with several types of fresh seaweed and sesame vinaigrette — a vinaigrette so addictive we wish Hori would bottle and sell it! Another winner is the vegan Soba Salad starring nori, Brussels sprouts, taro, cabbage, cilantro, kimchi powder and kimchi vinaigrette.
Although the grilled Texas Kobe beef skewers are mouth-melting, you can dig into the robata menu without going heavy on the meat. Think grilled oyster mushrooms, grilled shishito peppers, and chicken skewers three ways. Wash it down with one of the new mocktails like the pretty Yuzu Sparkle with citrus, mint and soda, or the Fake ID with Fever Tree ginger beer, lychee and lemon.
The lunch menu provides another great way to explore all the fish in the sea without breaking the bank. Japanese bento boxes offer plenty of food and options, and all include miso soup, tofu, chicken teriyaki, seaweed salad and a California roll or rice. Value-packed bento sushi combo boxes are many, and of course, warm rice and noodle bowls are slurp-worthy for winter — yes, right now!
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- Another Sign the Pandemic Is Ending: 'Omakase' Is Back on the Menu at Kata Robata ›
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SINCE THE 1970s, Houston’s cultural scene has only grown richer and more diverse thanks to the DIY spirit of its visual artists. As an alternative to the city’s major museums (which are awesome) and commercial galleries (again, awesome), they show their work and the work of their peers in ad-hoc, cooperative, artist-run spaces — spaces that range from the traditional white cube interiors, to private bungalows, to repurposed shipping containers.
Given the wildcat-meets-punk-rock work ethic of Houston’s creative community, not to mention the lack of zoning laws, keeping up with these unique spaces is a challenge. But we’ve tried, covering exhibits at FLATS, Archway Gallery, and G Spot Contemporary Arts Space, to name just a few. On Jan. 12, Midtown’s new artist-run gallery Throughline, which opened its doors to the public last November, presents its second group exhibition Volume 2: RUN. A reception follows the following Friday, Jan. 19.
Co-founded by Houston artist Sarah Sudhoff and Jonas Criscoe, Throughline went from ideation to reality very quickly, and is enjoying a huge momentum as we head into a new year. “The support, and the empowerment, and the community is already building,” says Sudhoff, “and it’s only been three months!”
Throughline came into being last summer when Criscoe, who had just relocated to Houston and is a founding member of the Austin-based artist-run space ICOSA, asked Sudhoff if she would like to create a communal, artist-run gallery in Houston similar to ICOSA. “I was missing that community aspect of my practice,” says Sudhoff, who had shown her work at ICOSA and loved the idea. She reached out to a diverse network of Houston-based artists, ranging in age from twenty-something to 65, and organized a series of meetings at Brasil to discuss this new venture. By October, a space was leased at 3909 Main Street, coincidentally, the location of Sudhoff’s former commercial gallery venture Capsule. In November, Throughline unveiled its first group show, Volume 1: Rise, featuring works by 10 of Throughline’s founding artist members (18 total plus Sudhoff and Criscoe); Volume 2: Run includes works by the second half.
'An Offering Image' by Jake Eshelman
'What the Stone Saw II' by Margaux Crump
In addition to being an in-demand photography, performance, and installation artist, whose provocative, multi-disciplinary work explores motherhood, mortality, intimacy, and illness, Sudhoff is a single working mom with two kids. She has two shows opening in March, one at Houston’s Andrew Durham Gallery, and the other at grayDUCK in Austin, both commercial galleries. “As an artist, you can operate and live in both worlds,” says Sudhoff.
Sudhoff hopes Throughline will eventually become a non-profit with 501(c)3 status, but in the meantime the gallery has the option of working with Fractured Atlas as a fiscal sponsor when applying for grants for community-oriented projects. Future plans include a juried exhibition to be held in conjunction with FotoFest Houston, educational programming, and cooperative partnerships with other organizations.
“We’re looking for ways to support one another,” says Sudhoff of her Throughline community.
“It’s interesting to see all these connections or through lines that are starting to happen in different ways that support us as artists.”