The flagship Houston’s restaurants have renamed themselves “Hillstone”, which is the name of the management group that owns them. With the new name change, Hillstone hopes to have the freedom of some slight menu additions and specials based on local ingredients.
Houston’s, especially for a chain restaurant, has always provided top quality food. Hillstone on 2nd and Wilshire in Santa Monica is mostly always packed with locals and tourists who go to experience their favorite items on the menu. At this location, I must say, they prepare the best grilled fish using a wood burning grill right in their kitchen. The fish is always moist with a slight smokey flavor from the wood. The striped bass with crunchy rock shrimp in a lemon butter herb glaze was outstanding. The side of parmesan truffle spinach was also a hit because they barely sauteed the spinach and add just a touch of fresh grated parmesan and truffle oil. You can actually taste the fresh spinach leaves because they are not swimming in sauce.
Hillstone in Santa Monica has a wide selection of sushi as well. The Sushi chefs prepare it fresh on the top level of the restaurant. The tuna roll salad is a mix of fresh greens in a light and creamy sesame dressing with a tuna roll on the side. Their rolls are unique because the keep the fish in large chunks instead of chopping the fresh fish in bites. Also the use jicama instead of cucumber which gives them a nice great crunch. Delicious!
With this new name change, I am very curious to see what Hillstone creates as far a Farm’s Market specials. I am sure it will be fresh and flavorful!