Kau Ba

icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
No Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Vietnamese
"If I won't eat it, I won't serve it," that's the philosophy behind chef Nikki Tran's cooking style. With two successful restaurants in Vietnam, chef Nikki Tran is bringing her take on vietnamese food across the world to America's hottest food scene, Houston. Freshest ingredients, minimal white sugar, and absolutely no MSG is the catalyst behind every dish that comes out of Kau Ba Kitchen.

With a massive following of hungry diners on social media and her recognition on popular food programs such as Netflix Ugly Delicious or Somebody Feed Phil; chef Nikki Tran is bringing her palette to America with her take on Viet Cajun, VIEJUN
What 59 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Filters
LS
LorraineS
Houston
1 review
Dined on June 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and cocktails were fantastic, will def go back.

KD
vipKerenD
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service, nice atmosphere, and fresh well-made ingredients⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

D
vipDinner
Calgary
5 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Favorite neighbourhood gem. Amazing service, food, bartender and staff.

SS
SteveS
Houston
20 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food tastes very fresh and they have very creative takes on many Vietnamese dishes. We tried a lot of dishes that were all very flavorful but the bests were probably the Happy Beef salad, Brussels sprouts, and fried rice. The only disappointment was a sizzling beef platter that came out a lot rarer than we would have preferred but the flavor was good.

LV
vipLeVeau
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is not your parents' Vietnamese food. Chef Nikki Tran experiments often, so don't expect the standard fare, and don't be surprised if things you love on the menu vanish. Be willing to explore and try different things. For example, I've got a new favorite dish, the banh bot chien, which I would not have tried until the waiter explained it to me. I'm glad I did!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve been here a couple of times, but I’m always feeling great after every visit! The staff is attentive and knowledgeable, and the food and drinks are amazing as always! Definitely one of my favorite go-to spots!

r
ronald
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We enjoyed the food

KC
KatieC
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very good food, drinks, atmosphere, and service! We will be back!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
17 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience3

The bar was great, food was great, felt like we were being rushed, less than a minute after the appetizer arrived, entrees started coming. Low ceilings, very noisy, not energetic, noisy. The bar menu had more whiskeys than there was options on the menu.

LV
vipLeVeau
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I've been to Kau Ba many times - it's one of my favorite restaurants. The food is consistently good, interesting, and fresh. The chef's rolls and chef's fried rice are spectacular, but I've never had anything there that wasn't delicious.

S
Shelbyr
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was outstanding. Perfect mix of traditional Vietnamese dishes with a Cajun twist. High recommend the wangz, beef kaupacchio, oysters but can’t go wrong with any dish.

SO
vipSoupsOn
Houston
44 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The duck salad is delicious and the FOB tiny crabs are fun.

MK
vipMeghanK
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a GEM in the neighborhood! The menu has great variety and the portions are a great size for sharing, while being incredibly reasonably priced. You HAVE to try the Grandma Subsidy--don't be afraid of the anchovies. Our server, Sean, was awesome and really knew the menu. Patio is completely redone and has great ambiance as well. Great date night spot!

PY
vipPYTL
Houston
16 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

i tried a dew things at Houston Chronicle’s recent 100 chef/restaurants event, & i wanted more.
im glad i ventured to this little jewel!
soft shell crabs are quite small, but dumplings & chef rolls are so great that im ready to return & will also be ordering some dumplings to go

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Drinks were amazing. Definitely will be back to sample more of the menu!

K
vipKevin
Houston
11 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

Great shareables. Good atmosphere. Nice patio when the weather is great. Will be back.

O
vipOzann
Houston
28 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall2food1service4ambience5

Honestly this was the worst meal I have ever had in any restaurant in Houston
Shrimp and crabs both served in the shells. Crabs so tiny and tasteless. Sauce had no taste
Skewers of meat was gristly

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Kau ba just had their reopening, and we were so happy to get a chance to come by. First of all, the food and drink menus had amazing selections. We had the street egg rolls, the wagyu carpaccio, and the F.O.B. ( our most favorite dish) which was just a bunch of fried crabs! Everything and all the sauces were awesome. Then we had the vietjun seafood dinner and it was so delicious. We are big rum lovers, and the drinks did not disappoint at all. We had 2 beers, 2 cocktails, 3 appetizers + small dishes, and a large dish for $111 (not including tip). Service was excellent, food was excellent, and drinks were excellent. We were debating going to uchi (our other local favorite) to celebrate an event, and we are so happy with our choice tonight. We made out like bandits!! So full and happy! Can't wait to return. This Tuesday evening was slow, would make a perfect week night date spot! Please support this restaurant so that we can enjoy it for many years to come!

DS
vipDorothyS
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We enjoyed the food and wait staff! We had been meaning to try Kau Ba and finally made it there. Glad we did. We will return!

LM
LisaM
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious! Everything was so tasteful.. headed back this week!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We checked into the restaurant at 6 pm., there weren't any other customers yet. We have heard of Chef Nikki Tran, but don't know what to expect, but we know her cooking is not typical Vietnamese, but a fusion of Vietnamese and Cajun.
We ordered Cosmo and Mojito for our drinks, both are refreshing and welcoming.
For starter, we ordered, by our server recommendation, an off the menu appertizer, Grandma Subsidy, which was pork belly, anchovy and sauted shallots on a thin layer of broken rice, crispy at the bottom. When you blended all the ingredients together, the taste was heavenly - a mixture of cruchiness, tenderness, sweet and salty - all came together so savoriously and harmoniously. 5 Stars on my list.
We also ordered Duck confit salad - shredded apple, cabbage, cucumber, alfa sprouts, fried garlic, shallots and nuts with duck meat. The citrusy vinaigrette dressing was a winner over the fresh ingredients. The duck was a little dry but it tasted wonderful nonetheless.
For the meal - I wanted to try the Viejun Pho but it was not available tonight. So we ordered Saigon Sunset to share. It came out a big plate of pork rib with Viejun sauce, fried egg, fried rice, egg & crab cake, shredded pick skin and sliced fruit with kimchi sauce. The rib was tender and cook to perfection, the bones just came right off the meat. The portion was big. I guess Viejun is a blend of Asian and Cajun seasoning. Not spicy by the way. Fried rice with shrimps was my favorite on this plate. It is easily one of the best fried rice I have eaten so far. The portion was big so we hadthe rest in a to-go box.
The price is on the high side (with wine or cocktail) but it is on par with other comparable restaurants in Houston.

a
vipalhoogwerf
Naples
67 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Overall food was very good and flavorful. I tried the Chef roll-delicious and a dish that had apple and beef and mint and noodles. Another started was bread with shrimp mango and sriracha. It was good but didn’t have very much mango. I liked the passion drink.

TL
TobyL
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was really good - we really enjoyed the tomato-based Pho (we've had a lot of Pho before but never as unique and delicious as this). The ribs were also on point.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience2

Food was horrendous and shameful. Dishes made no sense and meat was not cooked appropriately. Pork ribs were tough and chicken tasted like 3-day old rotisserie chicken from a supermarket. Our stomachs did not feel well either following the meal.

DT
DavT
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 18, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

This low key place is very authentic.
Great food , very friendly personnel and reasonable prices.

SR
vipSRM430
Houston
42 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This was our third visit. Staff is super gracious, and the food is wonderful. The duck salad is lovely—lots of good confit on top of fresh apple and veggies. Not a pairing I would have planned, but definitely works!

This is a great addition to the neighborhood

MP
vipMPTKRT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

First time visit after hearing a lot about it. Great addition to the neighborhood. The food was excellent and the service very attentive. The dumplings were excellent. Can’t spell out entree names, but suffice to say they were excellent. We’ll defiantly be back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This place is a treasure. The Golden tofu and dumplings were flavorful. My friend loved his Bahn Mi sandwich. The ribs were tender and am ample serving.

JP
vipJessicaP
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We loved our lunch at Kau Ba, and we were especially impressed with the lovely presentation and the flexibility of the chef in substituting ingredients for our specific dietary needs.

SR
vipSRM430
Houston
42 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Came here for the first time last Saturday with friends, and liked it so much we returned again tonight.

This time we ordered the dumpling special, which came with a delicious sauce of diced shrimp and scallions, and each had Bun with egg rolls and pork skewers, which came with spiralized cucumber and finely shredded green apple—delicious!! My only regret upon leaving was that it was so tasty I overate!

Servers are very kind and efficient. We will definitely return.

JC
JenC
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food is amazing. We ordered the Chef's dumpling, the special duck noodles and a beef noodle dish (that I can't remember the name of). All of it was incredible. The staff was very attentive and friendly. It also wasn't crowded or noisy. Overall, a really relaxing and enjoyable dinner. Seemingly a hidden gem :)

CP
vipCraigP
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really excellent food and service. Had the Mi Chay and the seafood Pho. Both were layered with flavors and were special.

MB
MaryBennet
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Atmosphere warm and low-key. Service friendly and helpful but unobtrusive. Food was great: chef’s dumplings just delicious. Excellent basil clams. Duck noodles and bun thit nuong were filled with subtle flavors. Everything was very fresh. I have already recommended it to friends.

J
vipJerry
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Wonderful food. Fresh, fragrant, delicious!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding hidden gem despite a celebrity chef

SM
SMK1
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience3

We started our meal with chef dumplings which were very good. The shrimp bahn mi was not warm and disappointed us. The beef in my salad was overcooked and tough. The Saigon sunrise also disappointed: The pork was overcooked and tough and the rinds were cold and not crispy. The mojito was very good and the beer was cold and tasty.

JG
vipJenniferG
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved the recommendations. Great food! Need to expand dessert but other than that is was Fantastic.

GA
GeoffA
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and service. We tried several dishes and all were outstanding. My wife liked it so much that she went back for lunch the next day!

2
2blackdots
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience3

We went with high expectations after reading Alison Cook’s review and ordered a few of the dishes she loved and some that she did not mention. Nothing was outstanding and some barely edible. The corn cobs in a seafood medley were ice cold, most of the clams were empty shells and the shrimp were tough. The noodles in one of our guests entree were so dry that she could not eat them. The wine list hardly deserves to be called that. Will not be going back.

P
Pedigas
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall4food2service5ambience4

Excellent service. Interesting menu choices. Unfortunately all four of us ended up w upset stomachs

FAQs

Kau Ba does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Kau Ba also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (713) 497-5300.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.