Blue Fin closed. It was one of my favorite Houston restaurants.
Why I liked Blue Fin so much
Perhaps it wasn't Houston's best Japanese restaurant -- although it was certainly in the running along with Kubo's, Teppay, Sasaki, Sushi Jin, and Nippon.
But I enjoyed eating there more than all the others. It was one of the most beautifully designed restaurants in town. I particularly liked the positioning of the sushi bar like a stage, raised up to be seen to all customers. There was even a bead curtain behind the sushi bar, leading backstage to the kitchen.
Fortunately, most of Blue Fin's creative appetizers and menu items are still available at its sister restaurant, Uptown Sushi.
But I am saddened because I don't know where to find Blue Fin's two master sushi chefs: Shoi and Uka. For decades, Shoi has been my favorite sushi chef in Houston. He always wowed the crowd at Blue Fin's predecessor, Nara. Although Blue Fin never had the same crowd, you could tell that many people went just to see Shoi. And the younger Uka created one of my favorite fusion rolls -- the Uka roll.
If anyone knows where these guys went, please tell me. Whoever hires them is fortunate.
I could tell Blue Fin would not survive. It never had the crowd of its inferior sister, Uptown Sushi.
Why? My guess is location. Far West Houston just wasn't the right spot for Blue Fin.
Blue Fin would have been a huge hit inside the West Loop. Consider Uptown Sushi. With its Galleria location, Uptown is constantly overflowing with 20-somethings with disposable income. For any glitzy-looking sushi restaurant, that has to be the target crowd. And that crowd tends to live near the Galleria, not in the far-west suburbs.
Blue Fin also didn't look right for the suburbs. I grew up in the suburbs. Most suburbanites want to be soothed, not excited. The problem with Blue Fin was that it did not look reassuring and comfortable. It looked hip and edgy.
Blue Fin's beautiful look made suburbanites suspicious. It looked overpriced. It looked like you needed to dress up. And folks in the suburbs don't want to have to dress up unless they go into town.
In short, Blue Fin was a beautiful fish out of water.
Sayonara Blue Fin. May your outstanding chefs find honorable work and more appreciative customers.
*Anonymous eater bows deeply*