Kim Son in Houston, Texas

Customers can order a "V-bowl" with combinations of beef, shrimp, and other proteins.

As far as Houston’s Asian food scene goes, Chinese and Vietnamese are the most common genres. But equally as prolific is Chinese-Vietnamese fusion, a hybrid cuisine rooted in centuries of Chinese presence in Vietnam. Though it can often be hard to know which dishes came from where, you can get an overview of the top hits at Kim Son. 

Located on Jefferson Street in downtown Houston, the flagship location of this homegrown hospitality group is a culinary landmark in its own right, having served diners for over four decades. Founded in 1982 by former refugee and La family matriarch Kim Su Tran La, who provided all the recipes, the group is today run by her children. Besides the Jefferson Street location there’s also a larger Kim Son dim sum buffet and banquet hall in Asiatown. 

A popular choice for families and big groups, the expansive menu has a little something for everyone. Choose from Chinese staples, like Peking duck and General Tso’s chicken, or go for Vietnamese classics like Mekong Delta–style caramelized fish, crab-bamboo soup, and salt and pepper toasted squid. For some of the fusion dishes, look to the hu tieu, or pan-seared rice noodles, and the Kim Son Special—featuring shrimp, scallops, beef, and chicken sautéed with vegetables in a thick gravy-like sauce. 

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