Shuttered Houston Sushi Restaurant Comes To Life In Montrose Cafe – ReikiNa Returns With Pop-Up Dinners

JHomas Stacy, the chef and founder of restaurant ReikiNa, brings back his intimate and immersive five-course pop-up dinners. Only now, with the closure of the CITYCENTRE restaurant, will ReikiNa dinners be held at Native Coffee in Montrose – with a twist.

Starting September 1, Stacy will wow diners with a globally-inspired prefix menu in the newly renovated cafe. Open for only eight guests at each service, this ReikiNa pop-up will have three seats on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

A lifelong lover of cooking, and still only 28 years old, Stacy left her high-paying job at Amazon in Seattle (in supply chain management) to follow her passion for food and cooking that drove him straight to Houston and praised Tyson Cole’s Uchi kitchen, where Stacy humbled herself and asked for her first restaurant job.

ReikiNa (loosely translated as “divine snacks” in Japanese), was born out of the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. Stacy didn’t have any big plans to open her own restaurant, certainly not during these uncertain and tenuous months. While many of us were ordering curbside pickup and Uber Eats, Stacy hosted a series of pop-up dinner parties at her Montrose home.

He wrote what he calls “secret letters” to his neighbors, inviting them to get together for 10-person BYOB dinners. Soon word spread and people clamored for a coveted place at the table where Stacy created tasting menus inspired by Asian ingredients and techniques mixed with those from Europe. This led Stacy to open ReikNa last summer in a second-floor space inside CITYCENTRE. With the restaurant closed, Stacy keeps an eye out for a new permanent restaurant closer to home.

“I learned a lot from the previous version of the concept,” says Stacy. “I want to do things a little differently this time. More rustic, with fewer dishes, larger portions and the ability for customers to sit at their own table. I couldn’t be more excited to bring these new changes to the Montrose Community – the place where I grew up and where the pop-ups originally started.

“ReikiNa is all about creative expression, and Montrose is a perfect place to match that creative energy.”

ReikNa Sesame Caesar (Photo by Dylan Scardino)
Sesame Caesar with pickled kohlrabi, cherry tomato, and sourdough burnt is one of five dishes served at the ReikiNa pop-up. (Photo by Dylan Scardino)

ReikiNa’s initial five-course menu will consist of yellowtail sashimi with apricot jam, tamari, olive oil and crispy potatoes; Sesame Caesar with marinated kohlrabi, cherry tomato and burnt sourdough; smoked cod agnolotti in a creamy bonito flake sauce; RC Ranch Wagyu smoked with kalbi mustard greens and miso potato; and for dessert nectarine ice cream pie with homemade marshmallow and vanilla egg cream. The menu will be priced at $100 per person with the option for BYOB guests.

For the foreseeable future, Stacy will be operating out of Native Coffee, hoping to eventually open another brick-and-mortar restaurant. Reservations are now available on Resy.com. You can find Native Coffee at 1715 West Dallas.

About James Almanza

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