In Oxheart, an unpretentious, cozy restaurant in Houston’s Warehouse District, diners can slurp up some Sunflower Seed Soup, served with burnt onion, puffed rice, black tea and grains. A mysterious mélange of texture, flavor and crunch, this dish exemplifies the creative, vegetable-forward cuisine of wunderkind Justin Yu. Originally from Houston, this Hyde Park Culinary Institute-trained, multiple James Beard Award-nominated chef worked around the world before returning to the Space City to open his own restaurant. Offering extraordinary food that surprises diners with its fusion of flavors and unexpected ingredients, Yu also prefers an unaffected forum for his cuisine—so in this rough-hewn chic space, diners grab their own silverware from a drawer at their table. Yu serves an ever changing tasting menu that packs his house nightly, but expect references to his Vietnamese legacy, such as stone crabs bedazzled with basil vinegar and pork. End meals with stellar sweets created by wife and pastry chef, Karen Man.