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Houston’s: Where “happy” hour lasts longer than actual dinner hour

Houston’s is part of the Hillstone Group (Bandera, R+D Kitchen) and has been a staple around Southern California and surrounding states for years.  When it came time to celebrate the Englishman’s birthday, it only seemed appropriate to take him to a SoCal staple that has hosted many business lunches and happy hours alike.

We called to make reservations at the Irvine location on a Saturday evening for a party of 5 but they were booked up.  No worries, we thought.  We’d just get to the restaurant a little early then our intended time to eat and have a “happy hour” of sorts while we waited for a table.

At 6:30 on the dot we arrived at Houston’s where they promptly told us it would be an hour wait.  No problem – to the bar it was!  We ordered some drinks for the table and sat down and relaxed and chatted.  I had a vodka martini with blue cheese olives that was quite delicious but oh was it strong.

An hour soon passed and we were getting quite hungry.  We debated ordering more drinks/appetizers but the waitress reassured us that we were going to be seated next.  7:5.  8:00.  8:15.  Nearly 2 hours after we arrived at the restaurant we were finally seated and promptly brought a spinach artichoke dip as the restaurant’s apology for the excessive wait.  By that point everyone was so hungry that we all ordered some sort of burger or another and devoured them as they arrived at the table.  The burger was good, but between being so hungry/slightly drunk I think I need to go back for a second, unbiased opinion.  Houston’s sure knows what they are doing when they serve you drinks!

Since it was a birthday celebration and all, the Englishman was delivered a monster ice cream sundae.  This picture does not do it justice.

This was also the only picture of the night due to my martini buzz and hunger pains.  Blogger fail.

By the time we had finished dinner and left it was 9:00pm, which means our meal took half the time to eat than it did to wait for it!  While I do like Houston’s, next time I think I’ll just stick to happy hour rather than dinner hour – at least then I know I ‘ll have a delicious martini waiting for me with my name all over it.


2991 Michelson Dr
Irvine, CA 92612