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Asian food with a flair at newly launched Lillo & Ella Restaurant in Houston

Tangy and sweet Edamame at Lillo & Ella
Tangy and sweet Edamame at Lillo & Ella
Valerie Sweeten

Having a new little Pan-Asian street food restaurant just around the corner in Houston is a perfect fit for the addition of Lillo & Ella located between the Heights and Garden Oaks in Houston.

Chef/owner, Kevin Naderi, known for his award-winning restaurant, Roost, recently launched this spacious casual restaurant with outdoor seating and ample parking. The draw is the food inside this rustic comfortable setting where bright colors accent the fun art on the walls and bar area.

Opened in May 2014, Naderi said his latest creation is the chance to bring “Asian food to new heights.”

The menu, which changes regularly to take advantage of what’s fresh on the market, have included main dishes such as Grilled Quail, chopped and tossed in a black bean and hoisin sauce with Chinese broccoli; Pan-seared Local Fish with marinated heirloom tomato and shiso salad; and Cane Sugar & Black Pepper Ribeye with Ella’s fries and wasabi aioli.

Other favorites include inventive Skewers like green onion chicken lived and shiitake mushrooms with samba raisin puree; Blue Crab Fried Rice with toasted garlic, Chinese sausage, snow peas and basil; Charred Eggplant Lettuce Wraps with miso and mustard; and Bao, filled with choice of Korean fried chicken, honey butter, anise pickles, or grilled fish with sweet-n-sour jalapeño relish and shredded lettuce, or braised bacon with candied apple, crispy onion, or just grilled squash, kewpie mayo and herbs.

The sweet tooth will definitely find satisfaction here with Naderi’s Thai coconut rice pudding with salted mango or the already-famous Nutella pie with banana and palm sugar ice cream topped with a burnt caramel sauce, among others.

A favorite for lunch, area businesspeople and residents can find a special mid-day menu that has less emphasis on happy hour bar bites and more on soups, salads and combinations, all at attractively affordable prices.

Lillo & Ella also has a lively happy hour scene with seating both inside and outside on the spacious patio. For food, the bar has an imaginative selection of bites like seaweed toasted peanuts, chipotle and honey edamame, warm scallion bread with kombu butter or skin on sliced melon with chili, salt and lime.

Lillo & Ella is located at 2307 Ella Blvd. Hours are Tuesday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; closed Monday.

For information, call 281-888-5335 or visit www.lilloandella.com.