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“Good atmosphere and tasty food” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Houston's

Houston's
Ranked #2 of 643 Restaurants in Irvine
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Business meetings, Bar scene, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Irvine, CA
Level Contributor
639 reviews
408 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 294 helpful votes
“Good atmosphere and tasty food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

Houston's has identified a segment of the market not served by other restaurants in the area. The menu is modest, but reliable. The food is always tasty and the portions aren't huge (a plus in my mind). Plenty of beers and wines are available by the glass. Houston's is routinely crowded and for good reason.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank too_few_trips_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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304 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    166
    92
    30
    10
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I was Excited, then I wasn't”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

I have always wanted to visit Houston's ever since I saw the sign, slick, modern, and the type of neon red that I like (?). I've heard great things about their food from my friends (I see their check-ins) and some online review site with a red flowery logo. I was excited, then... I wasn't. If what other reviewers meant by "consistent" is actually "average," I would agree 100% with their adoration of Houston's.

My wife and I went to Houston's for dinner. It wasn't a special occasion. My wife just had enough of me yelling "HOUSTON'S!" every time we drive by on Jamboree, she decided it's time to end the noise (me).

The place is a decent size. The interior wasn't particularly crazy with designs, but with the elevated booth and tables, it felt a bit like a very classy Applebee's (nothing wrong with that, just an observation). When we first went in at around 5:30 pm-ish, the bar area was filled, but not overflowing, with white collar salary men and Orange County housewives. We didn't join the fun, because we were hungry. We wanted food.

The service was excellent. We were greeted immediately and escorted to our booth within minutes. After the drink orders were taken, we dived into the menu. A LOT of options. I don't remember specific names, but trust me there are lots of choices to choose from. After a looong and tough mental tug-o-war, I finally decided on steak. I believe it was rib-eye... or was it New York strip steak... Either way, STEAK!

I like meat. I loves steaks. I especially adores grilled rib-eye steaks with great marbling, juicy, and crunchy exterior. Houston's steak, my friends, was not that. I do not recollect the exact reason why I did not like the steak, it could be one of the three, or all of the three, reasons why I LOVE rib-eye steaks. All I can tell you is, I was unimpressed. Sure, this is not a steak house like Peter Lugar, but I expected more. I expected more because the price on these steaks are not cheap. The portion was great, so I was full, but sad.

However, the sides were wonderful.

I would probably come back here for happy hours to mingle and hangout (but there is nothing else around the restaurant), then, again, it's been at least 6 months since I last visited and I haven't screamed, "HOUSTON'S!!!", ever since.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Marty C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“My favorite, favorite Irvine restaurant.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2014

This is my personal "Cheers" pub. Pull up a chair at the bar, order a glass of wine and great meal. The bartendars are amazing, its' always like "coming home" when you step up to a bar chair.

The restaurant as a whole is my favorite, every meal is quality. If you ever have an issue, make sure you tell someone, they will take care of it right away. Key quality to this restaurant is customer satisfaction.

Don't be shy, try the Tai Salad with filet its amazing. Ribs are the best in the country as far as I'm concerned. Rib Eye has gotten a little more expensive but worth the price as its prime steak. If your looking for sandwich, French Dip cannot be beat. Sushi also awesome and a little different.

Again, my favorite place in Irvine, lunch or dinner does not matter.

Advice: Thurs and Friday nights go early or go late. This is popular place and hard to get a seat at the bar.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank dwgraham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“First terrible review ever!(Of course this was 2.5 years ago)”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2014

I was part of a business trip to Santa Ana(Orange County)! We were told we had to wait an hour to get a table and unfortunately, the front desk was right. While we were waiting outside, I tried their lemonade, which tasted kind of bland. Finally, we got our table and ordered. I ordered a $30 steak. The steak meal finally came out as a fried egg sized piece of steak with not even one side. My brother received an even smaller salmon and cried. We ended up eating snacks back at the hotel. Pros- Honest staff. Cons- Long wait, Small portions of food, Humongous prices.
Note: Bad idea for the kiddos.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tommy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
169 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Always Consistant”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2013

A great ambiance, day or night. We enjoy the salads, ribs, garlic bread and very cold Martinis. Good business lunch spot.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Brenda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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