There's a nightlife renaissance happening along Main Street but in Midtown, there's a recent surge of Asian restaurants. While several blocks of Midtown have been home to a few Vietnamese eateries over the years, more Asian cuisines are beginning to emerge in the bar-heavy area of the neighborhood. Gyu-Kaku Japanese Barbecue opened last year and Izakaya from Azuma group along with Jason Liao's Tides Modern Seafood Cuisine are expected to open this year. Then there's Tarakaan, a pan-Asian restaurant opening this summer.
Last week, speculations regarding a new development between Mcllhenny and Hadley on Main, left questions about possible tenants. Among the possibilities a lounge/club named Clé and another from Piran Esfahani, former bartender at Zimm's Martini & Wine Bar (now known as Zimm's). Houston Chronicle confirms Esfahani, who manages 55 Bar and Restaurant in Rice Village, as one of the new tenants to Midtown's Superblock. Esfahani, along with Pemjan Jamea of Oxberry Group (West End Public House) are opening Tarakaan, the upscale pan-Asian restaurant and lounge at 2301 Main, Suite 200.
Tarakaan's name derives from a blend of two words: tara, a female Buddha and kaan, king in Turkish. According to the Chronicle, Tarakann is inspired by "Buddakan in New York, Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas, [and] Hakkasan in Shanghai." Currently under construction, "the space will feature two separate rooms with a total of nearly 6,000 square feet." The restaurant's website and Facebook page gives a glimpse into the type of high-end cuisine that will be served: chili-infused cocktails, sushi and other Asian-inspired dishes.
As Midtown begins to balance itself out with more restaurants to its burgeoning adult bar scene, Tarakaan could fall right in place. It'll be interesting to see if the restaurant can hod its own against nearby pan-Asian Uchi, Izakaya and Tides.