Based on raves posted on houston.eats (a bunch of real foodies in that newsgroup) and citysearch, we tried Kubo's last July (2001) and had an okay lunch (not great, but decent). I ordered a sushi combination and my wife ordered a cooked chicken dish.
Fast forward to just before Xmas (2001) and we went in for dinner. I had the sushi combination and she ordered some grilled meat dinner. Both were awful, but I'd like to whine more about the bad sushi since Kubo's always gets top reviews from locals.
The tuna and yellowtail pieces were okay. The variety was actually better than average - no repeats in the selection. But the rest of the pieces were either overly-wasabi'd or just plan spoiled. The squid really stands out as the worst piece of sushi I've ever had: tough, spoiled, stinky... never thought squid could taste so awful. I've been to the Houston branch of Todai (which makes the California Todai's sushi look like it's from Nobu) and even they couldn't do sushi as bad as that piece of squid they served at Kubo's. I had to spit hard rubbery chunks into my napkin several times.
Maybe it was an off night? Ater the 3rd time of asking me how everything was, I told the waitress about the squid. She leaves, comes back and tells me that "sushi man" said it was okay. I guess the customer is wrong! Why ask if it didn't matter? I can forgive an off night, but it's hard to overlook insult upon injury. I won't be back.
Lesson learned -- if this is the best in Houston, I guess I have to stick to the overcooked and fried seafood platters. Or can anybody recommend other sushi places that are really good and honest (not just hyped up)?
For tastebud reference, my last 3 sushi meals prior to that disastrous dinner were: Genki Sushi (lunch, midtown Manhattan - hey it's quick it's on rollers), Shiraku (dinner, Manhattan near Astor), and Shiraku (dinner again). When I lived in NYC, I also liked Japonica, Yama and Marumi (more of the latter).
On the brighter side, I'll be going San Diego, CA for a short trip, followed by Deerfield Beach, FL. Two places with good sushi!
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