It was not too long ago that community members bemoaned the lack of sushi options in the area.
Now, following the arrival of KA Sushi on North Shepherd Drive and the recent announcement of Tamashi Sushi, which is taking over the former ChinaWok space in The Shops at Oak Forest, there is yet another new arrival.
Hando, scheduled to open in the fall, will offer hand-rolled sushi at 518 W. 11th St. Jason Andaya, who will run the venture with partners Rishi Patel and Ray Chan, said he wants to change the perception that going out for sushi has to be an event.
“It can be a quick bite,” said Andaya, whose restaurant won’t take reservations and will be first-come, first-served.
As for the sushi, Andaya said Hando will offer hand rolls, or temaki, which differ from the cut rolls that are often pictured in magazines.
Temaki is a seaweed wrap that contains rice and a protein. It may be a type of fish or crab or scallops. Andaya said there will be vegetarian options, too. Eating temaki with chopsticks is hard, so most people opt for using their hands.
The vibe will be intimate at the restaurant due to its smaller footprint – at 1,200 square feet – where the plan is for 24 seats to wrap around a U-shaped bar while chefs prepare the sushi in the open. Five or six Japanese cocktails will be on the menu, too.
The road to his own restaurant has been somewhat circuitous for Andaya, who was on the hospitality track at the University of Houston during his undergraduate years. After graduating, he worked for the Marriott Corporation before ending up at Rice University for his MBA. Then he worked for a restaurant group in Los Angeles before coming back to Houston.
“Hospitality calls you back,” Andaya said. “My goal is to serve the neighborhood.”
Hando will occupy an end cap space in Revive Development’s 5,200 square foot buildout of a former industrial warehouse. The restaurant is the first tenant to sign there.
“We started construction this week,” said Revive’s Monica Danna, whose company bought the site in 2017.
Danna said the smaller shop spaces – 40 feet deep as opposed to 50-70 feet – are a trend in real estate. The smaller spaces are less expensive, and in this case, the location offers high visibility at 11th and Ashland streets.
For the remaining spaces in the development, Danna said Revive would be looking at uses like dessert and beauty tenants.