Kau Ba

4.7
200 reviews
$31 to $50
Vietnamese
"If I won't eat it, I won't serve it," that's the philosophy behind chef Nikki Tran's cooking style. With two successful restaurants in Vietnam, chef Nikki Tran is bringing her take on vietnamese food across the world to America's hottest food scene, Houston. Freshest ingredients, minimal white sugar, and absolutely no MSG is the catalyst behind every dish that comes out of Kau Ba Kitchen.

With a massive following of hungry diners on social media and her recognition on popular food programs such as Netflix Ugly Delicious or Somebody Feed Phil; chef Nikki Tran is bringing her palette to America with her take on Viet Cajun, VIEJUN

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 200 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
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CF
vip1ConfessedFoodie
Houston
30 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Waiter in Hawaiian shirt and wool cap seemed disengaged - thought he was new but realized that he was just unable to hold eye contact for communication - like price of a bottle of wine rather than just a glass. I know it is hard to find staff now but feel sorry for you.

We got what we ordered but became adept at snagging other servers and the guy with a water pitcher to fetch silverware, dirty plates, etc besides water.

Like your place and enjoy the interesting preparations. Know you will glad when all of this craziness for restaurants is over.

F
Foodie1960
Houston
9 reviews
Dined on 8 January 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our first time there and won't be our last. Great cocktails each in its own specially designed glass. The wine glassware was above average too. We were there to enjoy the last of the happy hour specials and the small plates were all yummy.
Moved on to more small plates and then a big plates. Cooking was creative but also
had traditional elements as well. They have an in house habanero chili sauce that was dynamite, Next time I might see if I can buy a bottle to take home.

Servers were all terrific. Pleasant, upbeat, knowledgeable, happy

s
vipsteve
New Orleans
37 reviews
Dined on 7 January 2022
Overall4food4service3ambience3

All the dishes were tasty but portions are small. Not a traditional Pho place but more inventive. But quite pricey

SH
vipShannonH
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on 5 January 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So happy to discover this neighborhood gem! The Chef's Roll and the snails were a table favorite!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on 1 January 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing and the place is very cozy

S
Sarah
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wow. I had no idea what 'viejun' food was, and Kau Ba has set the bar high. The smoked brisket pho was extraordinary.

TO
vipTOyama
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on 31 December 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

No place I would rather be New Years Eve, thank you again for such a great night!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Mexico City
1 review
Dined on 8 December 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is excellent and the service even better.

JV
JessicaV
Houston
1 review
Dined on 5 December 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

parking is a challenge. they should expand or have other areas that designated to the restaurant.

j
vipjosephinhouston
Houston
23 reviews
Dined on 2 December 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

One of my favorite places in town. Great food, fantastic cocktails. Don't miss the flan for dessert!

MB
MarshaB
Houston
1 review
Dined on 28 November 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it. Please expand your dining horizons and check them out. They were staffed very well.

CF
CarolF
Houston
1 review
Dined on 17 November 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience5

The food Has always been great, But the manager, Allison, suddenly came up to our table and told us we had until 9:15 to order our drinks and food by 9:30 pm; we know that they close at 10 pm. I've been in the food industry and worked in customer service for a long time, i believe that is very unprofessional and not a great way to welcome customers, especially since we are willing to spend money. We also watched another table, and they were being served alcoholic beverages but weren't told the same info, and they came in later. Also, her manners and characters are not excellent! I think she was rude, and it seems she was rushing to get out of the restaurant.

p
vippatrickc
New Mexico
17 reviews
Dined on 16 November 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We had a delightful dinner sitting outside on the patio. The food was first rate. Like so many other places these days, Kau Ba was short of staff, but the service was friendly and helpful.

G
vipGuest
Dallas
10 reviews
Dined on 13 November 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The wine list was a pleasant surprise. Very nicely curated with excellent pricing. And their choice in stemware was a nice bonus, too!

C
Cassieb
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on 6 November 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such good food and drinks! The service was impeccable!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on 31 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary

K
vipKatie
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on 31 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, amazing service. This has truly become one of our favorite restaurants in Houston and we keep coming back- and with so many great restaurants in the Houston market that says a lot! We’ve never had a bad meal or server. Everyone is kind and helpful, the quality and flavor of the food is top notch and the atmosphere is great. Can’t wait for our next visit!

GM
vipGregM
Austin
36 reviews
Dined on 29 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice team, good bar, nice outdoor dining

D
vipDenvereater
Denver
34 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Out of towners meeting up with relatives! Wonderful patio food service!!!!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
29 reviews
Dined on 28 October 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience5

food was not fresh and lack pizazz! is there new management?

OT
OpenTable Diner
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on 26 October 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience4

We went to Kau Ba in order to experience first hand a Viejun experience. We had seen Chef Tran on both “Somebody Feed Phil” and “Ugly Delicious” and we’re excited to try her restaurant.

Sadly the soft shelled crab weren’t available, an item we both wanted to try. We sampled several items including a pork belly taco, it was taco Tuesday, and others.

Sadly we were underwhelmed at the blandness of the meal. We had expected much more from a fusion of Vietnamese and Cajun cuisines. The hot sauce, which we assume was home made, added a welcome spice to our dinners.

AM
AgnieszkaM
1 review
Dined on 24 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful food, excellence service! Waiters, bartender, everyone!
The restaurant is very nice, colorful, the outside area is like you would visit a tropical country:) Drinks are tasty.
Place is not expensive at all.
10/10 would recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful selection of exotic foods!

t
viptxchic
Houston
119 reviews
Dined on 23 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Kau Ba! Great Happy Hour! Great food! Attentive service. While our favorite dish was “Phil’s Favorite,” which was salmon crudo on an apples and mustard greens salad with a wasabi dressing, we also liked the pork skewers, dumplings, Brussel sprouts, Vietnamese pizza, and banana split. The drinks were beautiful and tasted good. Even with pouring rain we stayed dry on the patio. Our only complaint is that the servers did not wear masks.

c
ceo3
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on 22 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food, friendly helpful service and great porch made for a nice lunch and afternoon.

DD
vipDDHTX
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on 20 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wanted a different anniversary dinner experience, more low key. This place didn’t disappoint!

DM
DorianaM
1 review
Dined on 17 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely patio, great food and very welcoming staff.

J
vipJerry
Houston
32 reviews
Dined on 16 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is fabulous. The staff is great. We love this restaurant.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
8 reviews
Dined on 15 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was great and service was on point.

d
davidt
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and service. Definitely get the Brussels Sprouts- but everything on the menu was fantastic.

A
Apicius
Houston
12 reviews
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

This was our first visit to Kao Ba and it started off nicely. the cocktails were different and excellent. the wine they recommended for my wife was not the most expensive and it was just what she was looking for. Then the wheels fell off. A very nice waiter took our order for starters but they never arrived until much later. About 15 minutes after we ordered our starters my wife added two more starters only one of which arrived. Then we ordered our main courses and those arrived timely. they also delivered an "extra" starter that was cold when it should have been hot. We were halfway through our main courses when the starters we had ordered in the beginning finally arrived -- this time hot as they should be. The dumplings were good. The egg rolls were not. The ribs were good but served in a bowl piled on top of one another which made them difficult to carve up and eat. Over all, the drinks were good, the food was only so so, and the kitchen was a confused mess as far as delivering the goods in a timely and well organized way. We won't go back even though the waiters were nice.

GC
vipGC2825
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on 9 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a wonderful surprise! Been meaning to coming here for a while and finally made it. What have we been waiting for!
Great food! Great service! And lovely night outside on beautiful patio.
Can't wait to return!

t
viptxchic
Houston
119 reviews
Dined on 8 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The pork dumplings are always delicious. The Vietnamese shrimp pizza was interesting and very good. Both items happy hour priced as were our drinks. My Aperol Spritz was huge and my husband’s New York Whiskey Sour was very pretty, and both were so refreshing while we dined on the patio. From the regular menu we ordered the Shaking Beef and Duck Salad. We enjoyed both dishes.

MM
vipMariaM
Houston
26 reviews
Dined on 8 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great lunch!

MV
MarthaV
Houston
1 review
Dined on 23 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was amazing the staff the food all of it was wonderful! They allow dogs on the patio.

D
vipDinner
Calgary
9 reviews
Dined on 18 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always amazing. Best cocktail ever.

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JS
JustinS
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on 5 September 2021
Overall3food2service5ambience4

Drinks are great, food is mediocre. Food lacks balance. Serving rice vinegar as a side for everything does not count as an acid. In my life I have never had Asian style ribs with less flavor. There is a lot of potential here but it feels like this place lost their chef and whomever is filling in the gap just can’t quite recreate anything special or exciting.

M
Melanie
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on 4 September 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great spot for outdoor dining. Tables are spaced well for social distancing. Food is really tasty and light for a summer date night. Left feeling satisfied, but not heavy. Try the snails!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Houston
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic in every way

QB
QuickBreakfast
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service every time! Glad the helpful staff aided me with remembering a menu item

FAQs

Kau Ba does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Kau Ba also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (713) 497-5300.

Kau Ba is rated 4.7 stars by 200 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.