Open since this spring in the booming Garden Oaks area, Himari is serious about its unique fusion of Japanese dishes with Vietnamese accents. The space is smart and clean-lined, with a black ceiling, polished concrete floors, and blond-wood chairs. It shares a vast Astro Turf play space with several other restaurants, making it very popular with neighborhood couples and families. The chef-owner is Tye Nguyen, a native Wisconsinite who is an alum of Uchi and other notable Houston restaurants. On this visit, we decided to focus on Japanese dishes, a stand-out being the Black Mustang maki roll featuring grilled freshwater eel with cucumber and spicy serrano pepper. Rolled inside out, it was drizzled with semi-spicy eel sauce. Another, the negitoro roll, showcased minced bluefin (fatty) tuna with avocado and cucumber—delightful and refreshing. We also sampled pristine nigiri (madai, kanpachi, and otoro) and spicy yellowtail sashimi (the delicate slices of the buttery fish were crowned with thin wheels of serrano pepper in a pool of salty, sweet ponzu enriched with olive oil and a touch of basil). But our favorites of the evening came from the grill: two skewers of tender Angus New York strip topped with velvety black garlic sauce and a generous bowl of glistening, smoky, fire-grilled edamame pods, perhaps the best treatment of the legumes we’ve tasted.
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An extensive menu of Japanese dishes with a few Vietnamese touches.