The curious case of Maba Pan-Asian Diner (formerly Anju, more formerly Gray’s Public House, even more formerly The Good Life)

The Curious case of Maba Pan-Asian DinerThe curious case of Maba Pan-Asian Diner (Try the pho fries!)

On the corner of Brazos and Webster in the heart of Midtown, sits Maba Pan-Asian Diner.  It’s the fourth establishment to set up shop on this corner in as many years.  

Ghosts of establishments past

$1 mimosas at the now defunct The Good Life, which is now Maba Pan-Asian DinerFour years ago, I spent many a Sunday enjoying $1 mimosas of all flavors on the patio thinking, the good life, indeed.  And then one December day, it mysteriously closed, leaving a void in my Sunday routine.  After nearly a year of vacancy, Gray’s Public House opened its doors.  It floundered initially, struggling to find it’s identity. Eventually it developed a decent brunch with a build your own mimosa bar, but it was too little too late. My Sunday routine was restored for a moment, but less than a year after opening GPH closed suddenly.  


Half a year later, Anju, an Asian fusion restaurant opened.  But it closed so quickly, I didn’t even get a chance to try it.  There were rumors multiple break ins were to blame for its quick demise.  


Maba today

Which brings us to a few months ago, when Maba Pan-Asian Diner dared to claim the seemingly cursed location.  I’m not sure if my public declaration that I am a fan will be the kiss of death for this fourth iteration.  I hope not, because the pho fries are heaven on earth.  Crispy, golden french fries are topped with sriracha, hoisin, cilantro, onion, and some sort of pho magic.  It’s taste bud overload in the most glorious way.  And if fries aren’t your thing (huh?), then the banh mi on their in-house baked bread, the Grilled Chicken Summer Vermicelli, and the Chicken Satay are all worth the trip in. I indulge as often as I can, because while I hope Maba will survive, I can’t help but remember what befell the Good Life…and Gray’s Public House…and Anju.

The Pho Fries at Maba Pan-Asian Diner are one of my favorite dishes in town.

Chicken Satay and Grilled Chicken Summer Vermicelli at Maba Pan-Asian Diner














Have you tried Maba? What were your favorites? Any predictions on Maba’s fate?



Not sure where to eat in Houston? Check out Maba Pan-Asian Diner in Midtown. And don't skip the pho fries!

About Erika

Hi, I'm Erika! I'm a Houston transplant and have spent the last six years getting into Hou. Follow along with me for all things food and fun in this great city of ours.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *