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Kyoto Japanese Restaurant

 25701 Interstate 45
The Woodlands, TX
 

The Best Japanese Restaurant in Texas

With Japanese restaurants now popping up all over Texas, how can you choose the one for you? If you truly want to leave your troubles behind and enjoy the best Japanese food in Texas, visit Kyoto’s in The Woodlands.

As you enter the first set of doors, the night’s traffic drifts away. Seven happy gold fish swim lazily around an aquarium that is set in the wall between the first and second set of doors. The second set of doors closes out all the outside noise and you are suddenly engulfed in the quiet calm of Kyoto’s. Dim lights, soft music and candles on each table conspire to take your cares away. From behind the sushi bar, Owner Eric Wang smiles and waves. His wife, Eva Tsu, appears from seemingly no where to lead you to your table. Always smiling, Eva greets you like her closest friend.

“Follow me,” she says, and you do. But be warned, once you enter that restaurant, once you follow her to the table that first time, once you taste their food and sip their hot tea or Sake, you will not want to go anywhere else.

My husband and I have tried Japanese restaurants all over the Houston area as well as all over the state. In fact, we have tried Japanese restaurants in almost every state in the Unites States as well as in France, Mexico, Italy, and even Japan. Kyoto’s, is hands down, the best Japanese restaurant in Texas. Kyoto’s is inconspicuously located on the southbound access road to I45 between Woodland Parkway and Rayford/Sawdust. Currently celebrating its tenth year here in The Woodlands, it is also the oldest in The Woodlands. In fact, not too long ago, it was the only Japanese restaurant around. That’s back when Eva and Eric would have to be at the airport by 4 am most mornings to pick up their supply of fresh fish. Now with other Japanese restaurants around, they no longer have to make that drive. Even with all the new local competition, however, Kyoto’s reigns supreme.

So what makes Kyoto’s so good? First of all, the food is fabulous. Most meals begin with a bowl of soup and a salad. The salad dressing is their special recipe. If you beg and plead and ask often enough, they might let you take home a small supply, but the recipe is secret and the taste is divine. If it’s a cold winter’s night or the hottest of summer evenings, the soup always hits the spot. Whether you have the sushi, sashimi, or any of their cooked dishes, you will taste fresh, melt-in-your-mouth goodness with every bite.

Besides the food and the atmosphere, Eva and Eric and their entire staff treat you like royalty. They remember your favorite dishes. They always know when you may need a refill of hot sake or green tea. Time and time again, they serve with friendly warm hospitality. Having grown up in Taiwan, Eric learned to cook in some of the finest restaurants in neighboring Tokyo, Japan. Lured into moving to the United States by a satisfied customer in Tokyo, happy customers continued to encourage him to first work in Virginia, then in Houston and finally here in The Woodlands.

Like a fine craftsman, Eric “crafts” each dish to perfection. If you want a special treat, sit at the sushi bar and watch as Eric and his assistant, Steve, delicately and carefully hand make each dish. Everything at Kyoto’s is handmade. Every dish is handmade to order. Look up at the ceiling and you will see handmade origami mobiles, floating cranes, that the staff make in their spare time. Inexpensively priced, they make extraordinary and very unique gifts.

And finally, you will return to Kyoto’s again and again because Eric and Eva go the extra mile. After Hurricane Rita skimmed by The Woodlands when the area was experiencing blackouts, when it got so hot and stuffy that everyone had to get out of their homes, there were no restaurants open. Even the Mc Donald’s was closed. But not Kyoto’s. Since they lived near and since they had electricity, Eric and Eva decided to open for business. And business they had. Even though most of their staff could not make it to work, Eric and Eva fed a standing-room-only crowd all night long.

So you owe it to yourself to give Kyoto’s a try. Next time you are thinking of going out to eat, whether you are in The Woodlands, Houston, Katy or even El Paso, find a way to travel to Kyoto’s. It will be worth the trip. But be warned, once you have eaten there, you will not want to go anywhere else.

Spider Roll

Great taste and presentation.

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