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Kau Ba, Houston, TX

Kau Ba

4.2
4.2
370 Reviews
$30 and under
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

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 3 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Vietnamese
  • Hours of operation
    Tue–Sat 11:00 am–10:30 pm Sun 11:00 am–8:15 pm
  • Phone number
    (713) 497-5300
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Owned/operated by
    Asian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, South Asian/Indian, Women
  • Executive chef
    Nikki Tran
  • Private party facilities
    Email kaubasaigonkitchen@gmail.com for private party details
  • Neighborhood
    Montrose
  • Cross street
    Missouri and Dunlavy
  • Parking details
    Parking to the left hand side of the restaurant. Marked Kau Ba Parking on gate.
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Delivery, Dog Friendly, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 370 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.2
4.2 based on recent ratings
  • 4.1Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 4Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Houston

    Great for outdoor dining

370 Reviews
  1. MargaretT

    Houston

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined 1 day ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great neighborhood restaurant with a good dependable menu. There are not as many vegetarian meals as in would like, but the food is good and the outdoor patio is lovely with the good weather.

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  2. LauriW

    Houston

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 2 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Very delicious food. Different from any Vietnamese restaurant I’ve dined at. Nice atmosphere. Good drinks too. Chef stopped by tables and was very interested in ensuring we enjoyed the meal.

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  3. MatthewJ

    New York City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent menu both food and drinks! Would highly recommend the ribs!

    Is this helpful?

  4. txchic

    Houston

    127 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    127 reviews

    Dined on December 18, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    My husband and I used to love Kau Ba, but we left disappointed this time.

    Is this helpful?

  5. GCHouston

    Houston

    16 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on December 16, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great food and value. The appetizers were delicious and very much enjoyed my ribs. Will be returning!

    Is this helpful?

  6. Grandpiper

    Houston

    7 reviews

    1.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 2, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 2
    It was horrible. I was so looking forward to the meal. We had guests from out of town and after talking up the amazing Vietnamese food in Houston, this was embarrassing. The scallops were bland, not sure was up with salmon salad, the escargot had the consistence of a leather shoe, the vermicelli was tasteless, the banh mi bread was soggy and fell apart, and the grandma’s something was a mess. Wish we had gone to our neighborhood pho shop instead.

    Is this helpful?

  7. Greatsteak

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    From start to finish, everything at Kâu Ba was unique and delicious. The service was perfect. This place is truly a gem. Well done Kâu Ba. We can’t wait to visit again!

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  8. cristinaB

    Houston

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 6, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    The restaurant was closed. We showed up after making a reservation and it was just closed.

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  9. RonW

    Houston

    33 reviews

    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our favorite Vietnamese. Very consistent. Low key.

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  10. OpenTable Diner

    Mexico City

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 4, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 1
    So, after we reserved on open table, we headed to the restaurant and were super excited about our visit but as we arrived we realized the place was closed. There was a small sign on the door that said the city was doing some work in the neighborhood, so they could not open that day. Would’ve been nice to get a message or a call from the restaurant to let us know they were closed and avoid the drive.

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  11. hungry

    Houston

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Lovely night to dine on the patio. Food and service were excellent.

    Is this helpful?

  12. OpenTable Diner

    Jacksonville

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on October 21, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a fantastic meal. Excellent food in a casual and comfortable atmosphere.  it was wonderful that there was a full bar with great house specialty cocktails. Try the Sunset Sipper.

    Is this helpful?

  13. FrancescaL

    Houston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 14, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Incredible food. Everything we had was amazing but definitely don’t miss the dumplings.

    Is this helpful?

  14. RobertB

    New York City

    20 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on October 13, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food. Pleasant atmosphere. Good service.

    Is this helpful?

  15. OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 11, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Good food for a good price. Enjoyed with friends on the patio.

    Is this helpful?

  16. hungry

    Houston

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on October 7, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food drinks and service. A great place to have in the neighborhood.

    Is this helpful?

  17. OpenTable Diner

    Vancouver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 19, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Menu had recently changed- they were unable to recreate either dishes or cocktails. On new menu- 2 items I would have liked to try were unavailable. I commented to the server that too many disappointments lead to a less than favorable experience. She shrugged her shoulders. I’m a loyal guest- I’ve dined here 6-7 times in the last year. The flavors are amazing- but they still have some service kinks to work out. I want to love the restaurant- but they aren’t there yet.

    Is this helpful?

  18. AprilS

    Los Angeles

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 16, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was very mediocre and over priced not very authentic place needs up grades. Water dripped all over my seat

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  19. RonW

    Houston

    33 reviews

    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Everything was superb. No one will mistake the decor for Delmonico’s, but for an honest neighborhood gem, this is the real deal.

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  20. Karen

    Houston

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on September 1, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I love Grandma's subsidy and cannot seem to try anything else!

    Is this helpful?

  21. LaceyO

    Houston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 25, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Drinks were pretty good! Food was okay, we had the king crab bahn mi and vegetarian mi chay, but mostly y’all just need to clean! The lanterns over the bar are dusty and disgusting and hanging over drinks and ice and your food if you eat at the bar. The shutters in the bathroom same thing! I can only assume if cleaning is not kept up with in the areas customers frequent then I imagine the kitchen is lacking in cleanliness! I do have to say the staff was pretty nice and attentive though and I see the potential but I predict this place won’t make it due to not a lot of repeat business 😕

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  22. Annie

    Houston

    19 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on August 21, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Just moved to the neighborhood and wanted to try somewhere close by. I tried the HRW menu and I loved everything I chose. I had the spring rolls, dumplings, and the waygu beef dish. Great cocktails too! I’ll be back when the weather is better to sit on the beautiful patio.

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  23. RTSrini

    New York City

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 15, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 3
    We've eaten at this restaurant a number of times and always enjoyed it. But our meal on 8/15/23 was awful. The food was terrible. Not flavorful, not well cooked, just one of the worst meals we've had. The Houston Restaurant Weeks' menu was especially appalling. I get that it's a fundraiser for the Food Bank but that's no reason to serve such bland and even offensive food.

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  24. txchic

    Houston

    127 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    127 reviews

    Dined on August 15, 2023

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    I have always enjoyed the lunch specials at Kau Ba, especially the candied salmon. However this time the salmon was incredibly overcooked, which made it really dry.

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  25. JoseR

    Houston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 8, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Best bet during restoration week for $25. Celebrating birthday best dessert!

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  26. Bink

    Houston

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 1
    i wouldn’t mind eating here if the food was really good. had high hopes cause its very pricey and website is nice. we ordered the $16 scallop appetizer which was 4 pcs of halved scallops. so thin about half a centimeter. (i don’t usually measure my food but it was just ridiculous). $10 spring roll no flavor and fell apart. food was very blah and prices too expensive for even ambience which was non existent. also who puts a water collection for the air conditioner inside the dining room in an up cycled insecticide bottle. yea the label still on it. glad for the up cycling but at least hide it under the chairs or take off the label or something. the wait time for the dessert was wayyyy too long. sorry kau ba. need to drop prices or go big on improving the food.

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  27. JeffM

    Houston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Chef Niki is amazing and so creative. We had dinner with a group of friends and Niki came out and helped us pick an amazing meal. Fantastic spot!

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  28. WilliamC

    New York City

    74 reviews

    5.0

    74 reviews

    Dined on July 11, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Great food, great service. Parking could be better, but it's a great place worth parking on the street if the lot is full

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  29. OpenTable Diner

    Austin

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on July 9, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful meal at Kau Ba. Started with super fresh and tasty spring roll and crunchy fried baby soft shell crabs. Shared Southern Bun Bo Xao, shrimp fried rice and the very yummy grilled shrimp with egg yolk sauce (I don’t recall what it was called on the menu). Service was good with staff making recommendations and attending to our needs with frequency that was not overbearing. Chef Nikki stopped by our table a couple of times as well. Really good food here. Try the Last Helicopter cocktail as well. You don’t want to miss Kau Ba!

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  30. Mike

    Houston

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 8, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    We have always enjoyed coming to Kau Ba. Food, Drinks, Atmosphere are all very good on a regular basis. Lately they are changing the menu and we have appreciated seeing a number of our favs stay on it and it is nice to have the chance to branch out and try some of the new offerings. As usual the new items are great and a nice change. It could just be the times we have dropped by, but it seems the service team is also changing and as they become experienced the shortcomings should be worked out but right now they are not as attentive as the long term staff we had in the past. Looking forward to continuing to experience the changes!

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  31. Terrific

    Austin

    20 reviews

    5.0

    20 reviews

    Dined on July 8, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great Vietnamese, great risk-taking. We were very pleased, especially at the focus on seafood; the healthy ingredients; the mix of appetizers and entrees and focus on sharing.

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  32. Amazing

    Houston

    8 reviews

    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on June 24, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 1
    Food here is always tasty and interesting. Eat inside, trust me on that. Bar drinks amazing.

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  33. Simon

    Houston

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 28, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Location, ambience and service are all good. However, prices have increased significantly. - it’s now $21 for a pho (ribeye).

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  34. BethA

    Dubai

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 25, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything was absolutely amazing and they catered to my gluten free requests! Highly recommend!

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  35. KatieR

    Austin

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 2
    The service was good, but the food was not our style. There were also a lot of bugs.

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  36. Rich

    Houston

    23 reviews

    2.0

    23 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    Alison Cook should try it again. And re-review it.

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  37. OpenTable Diner

    London

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 13, 2023

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Food did not taste good. Flavors were lacking. About half the items we wanted to order they were out, both foods and cocktails. This was a Saturday evening, early evening.

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  38. DJfromTexas

    Houston

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    It was my wife and I‘s first time dining at this restaurant. The food was excellent, I especially liked their take on beef carpaccio . Delicious! 

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  39. JayM

    Houston

    19 reviews

    5.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food. Very unique dishes. The wagu based dishes were not available. We were really wanting to try those dishes.

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    Houston

    6 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 6, 2023

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Foods were very salty, seafood not fresh, tasted from frozen, scalloped were cold still, soft shield crab were not real, just small crab. Overpriced for Asia foods, not even good. Don’t waste your money. Want real stuff, go to Asia town on Bellaire.

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Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
    • Staff is vaccinated
    • Contact tracing information collected

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Kau Ba using the Order Online button. Kau Ba also offers delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Kau Ba also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (713) 497-5300.

Kau Ba is rated 4.2 stars by 370 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 3 times today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for Kau Ba

2502 Dunlavy St, Ste B, Houston, TX 77006

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    Missouri and Dunlavy
  • Neighborhood
    Montrose
  • Hours of operation
    Tue–Sat 11:00 am–10:30 pm Sun 11:00 am–8:15 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Vietnamese
  • Dining style
    Casual Elegant
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Parking to the left hand side of the restaurant. Marked Kau Ba Parking on gate.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Owned/operated by
    Asian and Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+, South Asian/Indian, Women
  • Executive chef
    Nikki Tran
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Beer Garden, Cocktails, Delivery, Dog Friendly, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (713) 497-5300
  • Private party facilities
    Email kaubasaigonkitchen@gmail.com for private party details
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