‘Magic Fingers’ Chef Opens MF Lobster & Ceviche in Houston’s First Completely Round Restaurant

‘Magic Fingers’ Chef Opens MF Lobster & Ceviche in Houston’s First Completely Round Restaurant

MF Lobster & Ceviche patio (photo courtesy Stephen Gutierrez)

CHEF CHRIS “MAGIC Fingers” Kinjo has dipped into something new after nine years of running MF Sushi, his only H-Town spot: MF Lobster & Ceviche is the newest eatery in burgeoning Autry Park on the western edge of Buffalo Bayou Park. While just as sleek as his Museum District sushi shrine, thanks to Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Kinjo and partner chef Miguel Alvarez’s newcomer is more menu-casual.

Inspired by Kinjo’s frequent travels to New England, the concept offers simple and familiar dishes using fresh ingredients from both Maine and Japan, including an entire section devoted to lobster. Various takes on the luxe crustacean include brown butter lobster bao, lobster tacos on homemade tortillas, lobster rolls, and grilled or steamed whole lobster.

Cold options include crudo (tuna, madai, salmon, hamachi) and seasonal ceviche (Madai, halibut, lobster, Hamachi), from the same Japan-based purveyors used at MF Sushi. The other half of the menu includes clam chowder, lobster bisque, house salad, mussels, and classic sides like corn on the cob, house made chips, coleslaw, lobster mac and cheese, and more. Daily oyster specials, sourced mostly from New England, are also on offer.

Stacked with nearly 20 options, the cocktail program includes both classic and Japanese-inspired options. Standouts include a Cilantro Margarita, Spicy Cucumber Martini, Blackberry Bourbon Smash, and the Glass Noodle, made with Coconut liqueur, pineapple, cucumber, and sesame oil.

Lobster roll and house-made chips (photo by Alex Montoya)

Salmon crudo (photo by Alex Montoya)

Blackberry Bourbon (photo by Alex Montoya)

Situated in one of Houston’s most unique restaurant venues, the 2,200-square-foot round pod structure with floor to ceiling windows is made of glass, red cedar and steel. The sleek interior, designed by Houston-based MC2, sports a six-seat onyx bar and a dog-friendly patio with a wood deck and seating for 60 people. Eventually, patio diners will be treated to live music in the park. With spring on its way, this will be the place to perch!

“My vision of this restaurant is to provide a casual and fun atmosphere for diners, but with substance and quality,” said Kinjo. “We’re excited to welcome the community to Autry Park for a new type of dining experience from our team. I’ve always done high-intensity restaurants, but this one is more laid back, with simple and familiar dishes. This is a place where customers can come and enjoy the park and feel comfortable while enjoying a high-quality meal and drink."

MF Lobster & Ceviche is the third restaurant to open at Autry Park, along with Annabelle Brasserie and Auden. Additional open concepts at Autry Park include newly opened specialty clothing boutique Piermarini and City Boots. Other announced concepts opening soon include Sloan/Hall, Pilates-studio-and-café DUO, and five restaurant and bar concepts, including Annam, Chris Kinjo’s second Autry Park restaurant; Lick Honest Ice Creams; Japanese-sushi concept Doko and accompanying specialty cocktail spot Bar Doko; and Turner’s Cut from Ben Berg.

For now, MF Lobster & Ceviche offers dinner only, but has plans to offer lunch service. The restaurant is open on a first-come, first-served basis. Autry Park offers complimentary valet and self-parking in the development’s parking garage.

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