Sushi Raku quietly opened on the ground floor of the new 24-Hour Fitness mid-rise in Midtown over Thanksgiving with a sleek interior and a Japanese-born and -trained executive chef. That sounds good enough on its own, but chef Taka Sekiguchi ups the ante with a weekly shipment from Tokyo's famous Tsukiji fish market coupled with a healthy dose of Texas beef, pork and produce to create hot and cold dishes that change seasonally. Bonus: Raku is one of only two places in town that serves freshly grated wasabi with its sushi and sashimi. Lunch & Dinner daily. Sushi Raku, 3201 Louisiana St., Houston, TX 77006, 713-526-8885.
Tony's to be Texas Legend
The Galleria Chamber of Commerce will honor the eponymous Tony's as its 2010 Texas Legend at its annual gala on February 19, 2010. A Tony's fan for more than a quarter of a century, food and wine scribe John Mariani will be the keynote speaker at the event. "Early on, I recognized he was one of the most important restaurateurs in Houston," Mariani says. "He has some of the finest Italian food in the country. He'll do anything, pay anything, to get the finest ingredients." Tony and Donna Vallone will also be celebrating the restaurant's 45th anniversary in the New Year. Tony's, 3755 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX 77046, 713-622-6778.
Masraff’s Raises $300,000 for Cancer Research
The annual "An Evening of Hope Wine Extravaganza," hosted by Russell and Tony Masraff at their Galleria-area restaurant Masraff's, raised a whopping $300,000 this year. The Tony's Prostate Cancer Research has now raised a total of $1.5 million over the past six years to fund research for finding a cure for prostate cancer. Masraff’s, 1025 S. Post Oak Lane, Houston, TX 77056, 713-355-1975.
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After a long run as a reigning Sunday brunch spot, La Strada has closed its doors. The Westheimer Curve eatery was never the same after damage from a 2002 fire, which took more than a year to repair. Since reopening in 2004, La Strada never regained its following and quietly locked the doors before Thanksgiving. La Strada, 322 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77006, no phone.
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