Despite beginning his time in the restaurant business at the age of 16, Hando co-owner Jason Andaya said sticking in the industry was not always in his future plans.

In 2014, Andaya was a part of a startup company in Los Angeles when he was asked by a friend to take over a restaurant. Although he swore he would never go back to the service industry after graduate school, he agreed to the endeavor. It was during Andaya’s time in California—where hand roll bars are popular—that he became inspired to open a similar concept in Houston.

In December 2019, Andaya, alongside longtime friend Raymond Chan, opened Hando, a sushi hand roll bar, in the Heights.

“Once I got back into it, I kind of rediscovered my love for the industry,” Andaya said. “I think our dream for a long time has always been to do something together and not work for someone forever for the rest of their lives.”

Upon walking into Hando, guests are greeted by an intimate space with a 22-seat dining area. Andaya said the “cramped” space was inspired by the congested businesses in L.A. that he always enjoyed eating in.

“When we first built [Hando], it was really just built for efficiency,” Andaya said. “We always wanted to have a restaurant that kind of had small footprints.”

When it comes to the food menu, Andaya said it is a team effort among him; Chan; and Hando’s chef, Man Nguyen. When creating the menu, Andaya said the team takes a lot into consideration, such as what items are in season, what the product mix looks like and research they are always doing into new ingredients.

With an average dining length of about 40 minutes for patrons, Andaya said he, Chan and his bar manager, Jason Spence, work together to design a drink menu that has cocktails that are “packed with a lot of flavor” for guests to enjoy, yet drink quickly. Similar to the food menu, Andaya said Spence is always looking for different cocktail ideas.

The drinks also extend to the bar owned by Chan and Andaya next door, Kanpai Club, a nine-foot-wide space next to Hando. Launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the space allows customers to grab a drink while they wait for a seat at Hando. As for the future, Andaya said he hopes to continue to expand Hando in Houston and beyond his existing concepts.

“We have a lot of good stuff in store for [our customers] in the near future,” Andaya said. “As long as they keep coming, we’ll keep on pumping out fun experiences.”

518 W. 11th St., Ste. 500, Houston


Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.,

Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.