A Swanky Mexican Restaurant & Lounge is Coming to Allen Parkway

Tranquilo cocktail at Toca Madera

Toca Madera, an upscale Mexican steakhouse that started in West Hollywood, is set to make an entrance in Houston. It’s opening in June at The Pavilion at The Allen, located at 1755 Allen Parkway. Other Toca Madera locations are in Scottsdale and Las Vegas.

Toca Madera is owned by Noble 33, a hospitality group that owns five other restaurant brands, including Meduza Mediterrania, which is also coming to Houston either late this year or early next year. 

  • A rendering of the exterior of Toca Madera in Houston
    A rendering of the exterior of Toca Madera in Houston. Image by Monochrome Design.

“Bringing a Noble 33 concept to Texas has always been a goal of ours, so we are beyond excited and ready for the June opening of Toca Madera,” said Mikey Tanha, co-founder and CEO of Noble 33 via press release. “Houston marks Toca Madera’s fourth and largest location a testament to the city’s international flare and palate and we can’t wait for all to enjoy the Toca Madera experience.” 

A rendering of the Toca Madera main dining room in Houston
A rendering of the Toca Madera main dining room in Houston. Image by Monochrome design.

Toca Madera is going to be rather large, as it will seat 393 people in its 14,000 square-foot space. Los Angeles-based Monochrome Design, which designed the other Toca Madera restaurants, is also designing the Houston location. Expect custom woodwork, velvet upholstery and “intimate lighting”. Other special features include a patio with a view of Eleanor Tinsley Park, two bar areas and a lounge with nightly live entertainment. (Think “DJ” and “fire performer”, not “pianist”.) One interesting design aspect is “The Bird’s Nest”. Part-architectural element, part-art piece, it’s a sweeping, trellis-like construct encompassing the lounge. 

A rendering of the interesting birds' nest feature in the lounge of Toca Madera
A rendering of the interesting birds’ nest feature in the lounge of Toca Madera. Image by Monochrome Design.

Patrons can also establish a house account. Pay in advance online, and you’ll receive additional credit to spend in the restaurant. For example, a $1,000 house account gets a bonus of $200. Credits can also be gifted to others (who you really like). There will also be a private members club. Details on how to join were not available as of press time.

Christian Brennen, whose experience includes Maestro’s Restaurants and Porta Via, both in Palm Desert, California, is serving as executive chef of the Houston location. The beverage director for all of Noble 33’s Restaurants is Carla Lorenzo.

Toca Madera's 40-ounce tomahawk steak
Toca Madera’s 40-ounce tomahawk steak is brought flaming from the kitchen and carved table side. Photo by TJ Perez.

Since the Houston location is not open yet, we can’t vouch for flavors, but the food photos provided reveal stunning platings and presentations. Take, for example, the 40-ounce tomahawk steak which is brought to the table on fire, carved table-side and accompanied by two marrow bones and salsa verde. Prices are not on the online menu (putting this restaurant into the “If you have to ask…” category), but at the Las Vegas location, it reputedly costs $325

Crispy A5 Wagyu Tacos at Toca Madera
Crispy A5 Wagyu Tacos at Toca Madera. Photo by Alonso Parra.

Another stunner for beef lovers will be the truffle burger with an A5 Wagyu patty, white cheddar, mushrooms and, of course, freshly shaved black truffle. It comes with fries alongside. The A5 Wagyu Tacos with crispy wontons, jalapeño slaw, pickled horseradish, cilantro and kizami wasabi represent an interesting fusion of Asian and Mexican cuisines. A non-beefy starter is the Sashimi Mexicano with slices of ahi tuna shaped into a rosette and presented with cucumber, avocado, pomegranate, chile de árbol and leche de tigre.

Guava Margarita at Toca Madera
Guava Margarita at Toca Madera. Photo by TJ Perez.

The cocktail presentations are also pretty over-the-top. Tranquilo is a CBD-infused cocktail with mezcal, matcha agave, yuzu, Ancho Reyes Verde and grapefruit. It is surrounded by flaming rosemary and garnished with a high-proof spirit that can be either a floater or a shot. The Guava Margarita sounds like a simpler beverage, but even it is quite lovely as it’s liberally garnished with fresh flowers and thyme.

“Toca Madera Houston offers a unique, high-touch dining experience that speaks to all the senses,” said Tosh Berman, co-founder and Chairman of Noble 33. “Great detail and attention is given to the architecture, design and soundscape, all combined with an incredible menu for a bespoke dining journey.”

Once open, Toca Madera’s hours will be 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

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