Even though basketball all-star James Harden has moved on from his time in Texas, his love for the Space City seems to live on, so much so that he owns and operates a restaurant and lounge there.
The basketball player became one of Houston's most cherished athletes, akin to J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve, for his time as the guard of the Houston Rockets. So, it only made sense when he opened THIRTEEN by James Harden in 2021.
The restaurant is an "upscale dining experience" with a modern steakhouse vibe offering brunch, dinner, and even a hookah lounge, according to the website. However, after nearly two years in operation, reviews on Harden's eatery seem to be a bit mixed.
The place has lots of fans, especially of THIRTEEN's weekend brunches with bottomless mimosas.
"The ambiance is really nice, the food was delicious and piping hot, and the service was impeccable. The best bite was the fried catfish, for sure! We are looking forward to returning for the dinner service soon," one Google reviewer wrote.
However, plenty of visitors rave about the fancy "night out" club ambiance that makes you feel pretty exclusive, but the price of dishes that reflect the fanciness isn't quite hitting off with them.
"The setup, exterior, interior and the prestigious light of James Harden make you feel as on a celebrity level," one Yelp reviewer wrote. " ...brunch was okay, but for the price, in my eyes, was a too high price for very little!"
Nonetheless, a recent diner from late January 2023 said she didn't experience that chic ambiance.
"The restaurant smelled like dirty mop water or soiled mildew fabric," the Yelp reviewer wrote. "I actually sprayed some of my pocked air freshener because it was making us sick."
Another point some people aren't too pleased with is the timing of things, like being seated or receiving your food.
"Our reservations were at 9. Here we are an hour and 11 mins later, sitting in the seatless labyrinth of a lobby," someone said in a Yelp review.
Perhaps it's just a side effect of the spot's popularity, as reviews show the eatery tends to get pretty crowded, which is another con to diners.
"After dinner, we went to the lounge, which was so overcrowded that we didn't even have a place to stand," another Yelp reviewer shared.
There are 334 Yelp reviews where diners have given the restaurant only 3.5 out of 5 stars, whereas, on Google, it has 4.1 stars from 1,012 reviews.