First, a caveat regarding expectations. If you couldn’t get a reservation at Kata Robata, don’t go to Sushi Rock as a substitute because it won’t deliver the same level of fare and service. If, however, you are seeking quality sushi, sashimi, and handrolls, a friendly, laid-back waitstaff, and reasonable prices, Sushi Rock is a great bet.
Located on the amorphous boulevard of establishments known as West Holcombe, Sushi Rock derives a steady stream of business on weekdays from medical center employees hungry for their cheap lunch specials (served with miso soup or salad) such as the two hand roll combo ($9) and the shrimp tempura box ($9). In the later afternoon and evening, neighborhood residents flock to Sushi Rock for its liberal happy hour which feature sake and wine specials and deeply discounted appetizers and sushi.
Although Sushi Rock seems intent on satisfying diners with any number of different Asian food cravings by offering Thai curries, teriyaki rice bowls, udon noodles, and stir-fry in addition to sushi, patrons are advised to skip over those items and focus on their wacky, Americanized house special rolls, which combine artful presentations with fun assemblages of flavors and textures. See, for example, the highly popular “Sea of Love roll, with tempura shrimp, masago, cucumber, avocado, scallions, and peppery tuna dusted with tempura flakes or the Houston Texans Roll with kani, shrimp, cream cheese, and mayo. These concoctions are among the more expensive items ($8-13) at Sushi Rock; an equally satisfying meal can be hand by ordering multiple different appetizers, maki, sushi, and handrolls. Standouts from these categories include the decadent “green mussels” drenched in rich spicy mayo sauce, the ikura (salmon roe) and suzuki (seabass) sushi, and the “Tiger Eye” and fried oyster handrolls.
Rice-phobic consumers should take advantage of Sushi Rock’s sashimi, which is probably not straight from the sea but certainly tastes like it. Combination platters are the best way to sample a buffet of flavors; for $50 you can even treat your sweetheart to a “Love Boat” that includes tuna, tai, hamachi, escolar, tako, pepper tuna, and salmon sashimi, three pieces of unagi sushi, and one house roll.
Houstonians not in the vicinity of the Sushi Rock can also enjoy its diverse cheap selections as it’s one of the few sushi joints in town that offers delivery. If you’re dining in, however, do some online research prior to your visit to save yourself even more buckaroos because Sushi Rock regularly participates in Groupon and Living Social deals.
2400 W Holcombe Blvd
Houston, TX 77030