This dramatic, even sexy redo of the old Emmaline space in River Oaks features faux cherry blossom trees; dark, gleaming woods; elevated booths; and a sleek horseshoe bar. More than a pretty face, though, Muse leans toward Asian fare and ingredients in its menu, offering shareable plates, caviar service, cold and raw seafood (including rolls), and several main dishes. For shareables we sampled the crisp Little Gem salad, sprinkled with sunflower seeds, scallions, and fresh herbs; juicy honey-glazed shrimp with bits of walnut and miso aioli; and meaty pork ribs with a sticky tamarind glaze (declared a bit too sweet by one of us and “perfect” by another). Main dishes also pleased our group, such as Vietnamese-style redfish cha ca, the snowy-white fish topped with dill relish and sided by vermicelli, and a juicy, plump grilled half-chicken, pre-sectioned, atop garlicky rice, long beans, and wild mushrooms. Kudos for a fine start to chef E.J. Miller and his well-trained professional staff. Expect a diverse, young, and well-dressed crowd. A DJ appears at 8:00, so choose your dining time accordingly.
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This River Oaks spot is more than a pretty face.