Over-the-Top Restaurant Gives Downtown Houston a New Place to See and Be Seen

The main dining area at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

Bungalow Downtown Dining has taken over the space at 407 Main that was formerly Live Sports Bar & Grill, and the difference in decor and ambience couldn’t be more different. The former casual bar has been transformed into a lavish and luxurious space, and Houston Food Finder was invited for a preview.

Private dining room at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.
Private dining room at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

We were seated in the art deco-styled private dining room, where up to 35 people can be sink into plush blue velvet chairs with gold accents. The room has a separate entrance for private events and a customizable marquee on the wall. It also has a secret entrance through the kitchen so that one may come and go without being noticed, which will come in handy if celebrities hold parties there.

Tomahawk ribeye at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.
Tomahawk ribeye at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

We sampled an array of appetizers. The Jerk Wagyu Meatballs ($22), served in a sweet-and-spicy sauce that had a good kick to it, were a favorite. The truffle fries ($20) were described to us as the “truffliest of truffle fries.” The truffle flavoring certainly came through loud and clear. The fries were loaded with truffle oil and truffle zest, and served in a truffle aioli with more black truffle on top. We also sampled the Prime Cajun Ribeye ($68) with smoked hickory butter. The steak was tender and gained salt and heat from spicy Cajun seasoning.

Guests who want to splurge more can indulge in a 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye ($130). There was one on display for the event, although we were not served this monster steak. It is served with your choice of toppings, such as garlic herb butter or decadent foie gras butter

Brûléed cream corn at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.
Brûléed cream corn at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

We were also served sides of roasted Brussels sprouts ($15) and Brûléed Cream Corn ($15), a candy-sweet take on the Southern classic, with a torched sugar topping. The result is reminiscent of caramel corn, one of the more distinctive dishes of the night.

The Liquid Gold at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.
The Liquid Gold at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

The cocktails are meant to be noticed, each made to be as opulent as possible. While not particularly novel in terms of flavor or complexity, the drinks are approachable, and Bungalow pulls no punches when it comes to optics. I enjoyed the Liquid Gold ($18), a take on a whiskey sour made with rye whiskey and spicy honey. The Instagram darling of the night was the Heartbreaker ($18), served in a heart-shaped glass and topped with a bouquet of mint leaves and a gold-tinted strawberry. While I did not try one, it was clear that it was the photographic favorite among the crowd.

The Heartbreaker at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang. 
The Heartbreaker at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

Bungalow will also feature a speakeasy on the second floor called the Low Lounge, a dark, red-hued bar hidden behind a bookcase. There are also plans for a rooftop patio with a retractable glass roof, which will surely be a hit during warm summer nights.

The Low Lounge speakeasy at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.
The Low Lounge speakeasy at Bungalow Downtown Dining. Photo by Cindy Wang.

While price points are eye-popping at Bungalow, this is the kind of locale for those who want to get spendy and show off. It’s a space meant for guests to dress to impress, take in the plush settings and show it off to the world.

Bungalow Downtown Dining is open Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight.

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