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4 Things to Know About Dining at Theodore Rex, Chef Justin Yu’s New Houston Hotspot

How to score a coveted table, and more

Jenn Duncan
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

When Chef Justin Yu’s Theodore Rex opens its doors on Friday, Houstonians will finally be able to get a taste of what the chef’s been cooking up to replace vaunted eatery Oxheart. Unfortunately, though, it probably won’t be easy to score a reservation.

But that doesn’t mean that dining at Theodore Rex in its opening days is totally impossible. Here’s everything that that Houstonians need to know about dining (and, more importantly, landing a table) at what will soon be Houston’s hottest new restaurant.

Theodore Rex will keep tables open for walk-in diners

Instead of requiring reservations, Yu says in a press release that the restaurant will keep “several” tables and seats at the bar open for diners who weren’t able to get a table on Resy.

Instead of lingering in the vestibule, call ahead

The space formerly known as Oxheart is undoubtedly small, which means that there isn’t much room for folks to linger inside and wait for a table. As such, diners can call the restaurant to get an idea of waiting times in order to plan an evening. If the wait is upwards of an hour, head Downtown for a drink.

The menu will change weekly, with one key exception

As Eater reported back in August, Yu has been seriously obsessed with one dish in particular: a riff on pan con tomate. The menu at Theodore Rex will change weekly, but this dish, which involves a thick slice of browned pain de mie that’s brushed with tomato water and topped with tomato fondant and a salad of fresh tomatoes, will stick around for the foreseeable future.

Tables will be turned over quickly, which could minimize wait times

On Theodore Rex’s Resy page, the restaurant lists a particularly interesting policy: parties of two guests are only allowed to occupy a table for two hours. Parties of 3 or 4 can stick around for two and a half hours, and the restaurant’s single large table (which can seat 5 or 6 people) will be open for three hours.