Nara Sushi and Korean Kitchen
Nara Sushi and Korean Kitchen

Nara Sushi and Korean Kitchen

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.narahouston.com/
  • Phone: 2812495944x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Wednesday 11:00 A.M - 10:00 P.M.
    Thursday-Saturday 11 A.M - 11 P.M.
    Sunday 5 P.M. - 10 P.M.


    Reservations are accepted. We welcome walk-ins as well.

    Monday - Friday from 5 - 7PM, we have Social Hour in our bar/patio area. Small plates and Bao Buns from $5 - $7 and half off all Nara Martinis and Nara Cocktails, plus a few more specials from the bar.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Korean, Japanese
  • Executive Chef: Don Chang
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Off-site catering is available

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Kipling
  • Parking: Valet
A word from Nara Sushi and Korean Kitchen
Chef Donald Chang’s restaurant is the first modern Korean-inspired kitchen in Houston, offering an authentic Korean dining experience mixed with Japanese cuisine true to the two countries’ entwined histories and Chang’s 23 years of experience in Japanese restaurants. An exhibition kitchen, 10 - 13 person chef’s table, private dining space, patio lounge seating and full sushi and bao bun bar highlight this vibrant, sleek dining space on West Ave at River Oaks.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Nara Sushi and Korean Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
101 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (63)special occasion (53)hot spot (43)romantic (35)good for groups (27)great for lunch (18)neighborhood gem (17)vibrant bar scene (14)great for outdoor dining (13)notable wine list (12)late-night find (11)scenic view (7)great for brunch (4)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • JJJones
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    The service was excellent and friendly. They took time to explain the background of the restaurant, the menu items, and to make suggestions. We arrived earlier than our reservation, but the hostess seated us immediately. We love Korean BBQ, which they only have available for parties with advanced reservations, but they said that Nara is expanding and will have Korean-styled tables for BBQ.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Polished Asian gem
    houstonfoodieVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Excellent fishes, sashimi, shrimp, but tibia all quite pricey.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not What You'd Expect
    Nick
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    To my surprise, it was empty at prime hours. Doesn't bother me - the restaurant is nice, but worth noting as this may explain the lack of customers: The menu's were dirty w/ food stains (all 5 menus). Not how you want to make a 1st impression. Then, the waiter forgot a drink. Fine, everyone makes mistakes. Then we ask for salt - he brings out soy sauce. Mistake #3, but no big. All food comes & after 15 min we inquire about a missing an entree. He say's it's coming, but he forgot bc after going straight to the kitchen, it takes 15 more mins. Sushi/Shashimi = great. Non-sushi items = sub-par. Deserts = bad. This place is over-priced for what you get. Go to Uptown Sushi if you want to spend this much. If you want good Korean go to Longpoint.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I expected more...
    luvsgreatfood
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Very pricey in my opinion for what they are serving. Trendy surroundings were nice. My martini glass was cracked and had to be sent back. Waiter seemed 'flustered' and rushed. There was no toilet paper in the ladies room so 'attention to details' is lacking. It was a Sunday night and not that busy so I thought this oversight really stood out. For the money I spent, I wanted to be wowed. Instead it was more "yawn".
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun and Different
    dragonladyVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We dined at Nara's for our daughter's 24th birthday. She's a sushi lover and her dad and I are not but it was her birthday and we wanted a fun place for her to celebrate with us. It is in a very fun part of Houston on West Avenue, a hot spot in Houston. The restaurant seating is arranged around the kitchen in the middle and it's fun to watch the chefs in action. We had a great waiter, Jerome, who explained everything to us and was very enthusiastic. My favorite was the Bulgogi Black Canyon Angus rib-eye bulgogi Flap Buns, daikon kimchi with micro greens and for dessert the Green Tea Tiramisu with a few blueberries on top. It was delicious!! My daughter liked the Mochi Ice Cream. The manager brought her dessert with bday sparklers in it 2!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, service needs work
    Joey
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Went for lunch on a Saturday. A new waiter took our drink orders, but after 30 minutes of sitting down and still not placing our food order, we asked a different waitress if we could place our food order, and she proceeded to serve us for the remainder of the night. She was excellent, and we really appreciate her picking up the slack for her colleague. Hopefully he can find his groove and learn to serve customers better in the future. Thankfully, we were not in a rush, so the experience was very good, and the food was very tasty, interesting and novel. Will definitely be back, if nothing else than to try the omakase.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice lunch spot
    SeeCatEatVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Tried this during restaurant week - the menu options were varied and the food was good. When we got up to leave, it was pouring outside, so the chef offered to pour us a glass of wine on him while we waited. Class act.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good
    wasabi
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Did the HRW menu, food was very good but portion was small. The atmosphere is great, very posh. Our waitress was excellent. She was very friendly and helpful even though all 4 of us ordered the HRW menu and water.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Did not dissappoint
    Rainkisses
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food was delicious and presented beautifully. I had the kobe sliders and the meat was perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. The fries were a little soft and soggy, though. My favorite was the chicken bao for the appetizers (from Houston Restaurant Week menu). I still talk about it to my friends and highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of the best meals of my life.
    PDiddie
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Certainly in my top five. Houston Restaurant Weeks brought us (we've done Caracol, Kubo's, The Grove and a handful of others) and Nara was simply exceptional.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Terrible
    Brian
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Terrible service, gross, overpriced food. Made a reservation at 8:45, didn't get seated until 9:45, and they put us in a "private" dining room with another party. Drinks took 20 minutes, food was sent to another table - had to remake. Manager was nice and offered us a few free sushi rolls and comped some of the dinner, but the food isn't good - you can get actual good sushi at a typical, cheap sushi joint. Their rolls are $18 - can get the same thing for $4. Dol Sot Bi Bam Bap - can get it at a local Korean place for mush better an half the price. Perhaps some would say you are paying for the experience, but then again, the experience isn't good. Will never go back here, would advise against spending a few hundred dollars for this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Layers of flavor
    Chopeh
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    All of the food was outstanding! Nothing was lacking. Service was great, quality was excellent, the atmosphere wasn't stuffy. It was fun, yet nice.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Thanks, HRW! The $20 lunch was a great deal. Good portion sizes (I had to take half home), and everything was delicious. Our server was extremely nice and even mixed our bibimbap for us. I will be back for more green tea tiramisu!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • not bad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I really liked the interior decor. The food was tasty. That being said, if you wanted just Korean food, you should just go to K-town area as you'd get more for your buck there, but it's nice that people who've probably never had Korean food can test it out. I did enjoy the dishes that were Korean-inspired fusion. Even though I love sushi, I didn't try the sushi there. The cocktails I had were yummy. Our server was alright. You could tell he was trying to give a "I'm a good server" vibe but he really didn't seem to care. And on top of that service was ridiculously . . . . S . . . L . . . O . . . W! We went for lunch for HRW & got the prix fixe menu. We were there for 2 hours! Lots of lull, not what I expected in a nice restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, lack of menu choices
    TeslaMan
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    I came here with my girlfriend for Houston Restaurant Week. I got there a bit late and the hostess was super nice and offered me to be seated or wait at the bar. Once seated @ 6pm, we tried to order the Korean Mint and were told they were out of mint to make the drink.We ordered the next drink on the menu. After, we tried to order Surf and Turf from the HRW menu as we were interested in the wagyu beef. The waiter informed us they were out of the Surf and Turf.. how can you be out at the beginning of the day on your most popular plate? He ended up telling us they had the wagyu steak but would have to substitue lobster for shrimp. When my gf ordered it medium well the waiter was offended and made her feel bad. The dinner was very rushed.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nice place
    Jocelyn
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    Fusion type food which was good and interesting. Love the concept of mixing Korean and Japanese together
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    My siblings and I went to Nara for lunch to try out the Houston Restaurant Week menu. Before we received the bill, My sister and brother heard that we would have the entire meal be complimentary due to "Long Time Sliders," as shown on the receipt. I had no idea until I saw the bill and was in disbelief! This was much more courteous service than I would have expected from any restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a great find!
    akj984
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    I am happy to have chosen this restaurant. My friends and I went here for Houston Restaurant Week and ordered a few things we wouldn't have normally. Their sushi was top grade, excellent service, and beautifully decorated. We will be going back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food - "South Korea?"
    AguiarVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We went there on a Saturday night. The menu options were varied and the food was good. The server really knows the menu, He made great suggestion. I’ve been in Seoul several times, the Nara’s foods are not what we eat there at all. I am not say Nara’s food is not good at all. Actually it is, but is not real SK food, maybe a combination of Korea and Japan foods. I will back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sushilove
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Amazing service, delicious and unique dishes, chic decor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Real Korean food?
    NapaResident
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    It's not the kind of Korean food I expected. But I served in the army ( UN HDQTRS) in Seoul so I'm pretty particular when evaluating Korean food. The food, such as it was, was very tasty though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Restaurant week and happy hour are wonderful bargains. Thoughtful inventive cooking.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • HRW2014
    Annie
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Went for Houston Restaurant Week with a couple of girlfriends. We were seated promptly and our server Susan was attentive and nice. I ordered the Hamachi and Avocado soup which were good. My friends got the chicken bao which were equally good. For my entree, I had the steak and lobster...the beef was very tender and tasty; the lobster was cooked to perfection. Highly recommend it! Our host, Kyle was also fun and hilarious which added warmth to our dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love it!
    RachelVIP
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Great sushi spot! Innovative menu! Always friendly servers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time ans we will be back
    christocinoVIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Gave Nara a first try during restaurant week and was very impressed. While the Japanese selections were very good, there are many good sushi places in town. The Korean dishes were truly amazing. The service was also very good. Karl took good care of us.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sushi top notch...Korean Buns so sp
    iand14
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The sushi was top notch which is to be expected with Donald Changs history. We ordered the korean skirt steak fajita buns, and were disappointed. Almost tasteless and the beef was dry. The sushi was outstanding and fresh, and the korean twist on some of the rolls was a nice change of pace, and the flavors really worked. Nice looking crowd, but loud music, so ask to be seated outside if you want to have a conversation. Server was a little weak and seemed overwhelmed but I can only guess he was new to the industry. Overall a well run restaurant, and if your looking for some unique sushi items I highly recommend. Will give some of the Korean items another try next time, and perhaps it will be better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will be back
    GinaLVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Love the ambience and decor. Very creative with their menu. Great for business lunch or special occasion. One of my favorite place. Now they participate in HRW. I will be back here soon
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was horrible!
    jaytin
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    Was in town spending time with an old friend. Though a little Korean would be fun so I go reservations. The place was near empty at 8pm, and it took forever to get our food, after which they came back multiple times to tell me they didn't have the sushi I ordered. It took 20 mins to get our bottle of wine. Overall the food was good, although the Tomahawk Steak I ordered that was "market price" turned out to be $120, that not even reasonable.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One of the best asian restaurants
    VicBar
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Definitively one of the best in Houston. Food is original and tastes incredible.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect Night in Miami
    KK80VIP
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    What a great evening with friends. The service was wonderful and the drinks were great. The manager even got us on the guest list at a local club after our dinner. The food ? Well, I can't say enough about the food, we all chose the tasting menu and it was divine. The waiters were all knowledgeable about the selections and were fabulous. The atmosphere being outside on the waterway made the evening that much better - If I could post pics to show you how wonderful it was I would. Can't wait to return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I wouldnt recommend this restaurant
    DinnerinSBVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Smoke from grill was terrible. MEnu was limited and food was extremely mediocre at best.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • High Quality Korean + Sushi
    HighPlainsCowboy
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We went to Nara with high expectations given recent recommendations in Houston magazines. We tried some Korean Bulgogi and Bebimbap as well as some of the recommended sushi starters and rolls. All of these had high quality ingredients including the fresh tuna and white fish. Some of the specialty sushi dishes tended a bit on the sweet side for my taste, but this is a matter of your preferences. The service was prompt and attentive, and the ambiance very relaxing. Recommended if you don't mind the prices.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • mediocre
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    nothing special, except some of the dishes and the soup was too salty.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nara Sushi & Korean Kitchen
    OmniGuest
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Nara now offers Sunday dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. With items ranging from Kobe beef sliders, the salmon truffle roll, and grilled flap buns, they have an impressive menu to boast. The ambience is great for a romantic evening out!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a great meal at Nara
    OpenTableDinerVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    We had another great meal at Nara. Don and the team at Nara are professional and great at what they do. The fish is fresh and the dishes are creative and tasty. They always have something new to try and I love going there. If you haven't been to Nara, it's a must try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Best place in West Ave
    SilentHVIP
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    We come here often, Kyle the manager is very attentive as is the wait staff, sommelier and the chef. Try the Nara ribeye rolls, bulgolgi, and Korea style chicken wings. Each course will change your life! West ave gables residents get a discount too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exotic
    toothy
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Enjoyed the 'upscaleness' for the special evening. Interesting twist on various traditional Korean dishes. As these sort of places go, sometimes too much fuss in changing up a traditional dish is hit or miss. It applies here. Some funked up dishes worked and some did not. Wait staff were all very nice and attentive.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nara
    sloyoutonthetown
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    The atmosphere at Nara is very modern, urban and sexy. Great sushi bar, comfortable chairs, large tables, outdoor patio and a great kitchen. The food is an innovative cross between japanese and Korean. Kimchi is used as a garnish or added spice. The owner chef was walling around and he came to our table and recommended some dishes. The Bulgogi (Beef and Pork) is fantastic!, The whole menu is full of great finger food, sushi, or other dishes that are perfect for sharing. We had five people, cocktails, (cucumber martini great!) and sat around talking and ordering food as we felt like it. Great fun. The Korean Fajita Rice Cake was fabulous. But the most fun was the Korean hot rock grill. Cooked delicious beef and chicken. Plates steak-fish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Why the negative reviews?
    TomJVIP
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Why the negative reviews? I walked in with some reservation after reading the negative reviews. However, I left pleasantly surprised. The service was exceptional. Every staff member, from water server to manager were very attentive. Made sure to pull the seat in and out for my wife. The bartender helped me choose the wine and then later came to my table to see how I liked it. Service was 5 stars. The food was great! A very nice diversity in the menu and received helpful advice from the waitstaff. Nara will now be on my list of top date night ideas!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience and awesome food!!
    ali73bam
    Dined on 6/9/2014
    All of the food from the appetizers to the pork buns and the sushi were all wonderful. The manager as well as Lindsay both came over to our table to ask how things were and we felt very well taken care of. Will for sure be coming back!! The decor of the restaurant is also beautiful and the cocktail and wine list was nice as well. If you like Uptown Sushi, they have a lot of the same rolls at NARA that are just as good as Uptown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.