[HOU] AURA - quick report
i was out in sugar land last week and needed a spot for dinner. i remembered reading a review of AURA on foodinhouston.blogspot.com, which also made the chronicle's #4 best new restaurant in 2007. this little gem is out in missouri city, a good 35 min drive from downtown w/o traffic, 10 mins from sugar land. as an inner looper, i now find myself jealous of the folks living further south.
i ordered the pate et terrine maison to start. it was not on the menu that evening, but our server said it was available. for $9.50, the appetizer consisted of 2 large slices of pork terrine and a small crock of fois gras pate. at first i found the pate was a little too salty for my taste alone on the french bread, but i found that layering pate with healthy piece of terrine and topping it off with the dijon mustard it came with made a delicious bite. my dining companion was vegetarian. i surprised myself by eating half of the plate and i found myself feeling guilty that i enjoyed it so much while my friend could only sit and watch.
for my entree, i had the mahogany lacquered sea bass which was served on a bed of mashed potatoes, shiitake mushrooms, and leeks. the dish was delicate, delicious, and delightful. the fish was cooked perfectly. i had been craving sea bass for a couple weeks and it hit the spot. $22
vegetarian options on the menu were basically non-existent, but the chef produced a fine veggie plate at our request. it included asparagus spears, snow peas, carrots, ratatouille, and haricot vert gorgeously arranged on a plate. i could tell the veggies were slightly overcooked based on the color, but my dining companion preferred it this way (bad teeth). they also brought a side of truffed mac & cheese in a small cast iron dish (at our request as well). there was a nice layer of baked gruyere on top. the cheese sauce was sharp but not offensive. it was creamy loveliness. $14
service was slow (over 1.5 hour dinner on a wed night) but there was a big top (10 people) they had to serve before us. the restaurant is modern, the atmosphere casual and unpretentious. the prices are very reasonable. this is a great addition to the neighborhood (i just wish it were mine!)
We're considering a move out that way and AURA popped up on my search for local spots that might make the move more, shall we say, palatable. Good to get a review that goes thumbs up. It seems like the majority of time we head west to varying degrees from our current Galleria location so maybe the burbs won't be too culinarily painful after all.