Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A slice of Nepal

Taste of the Himalayas

While in Sonoma on Saturday, I lunched at Taste of the Himalayas. I was greeted warmly by a woman who shared with me lots of interesting information about Nepal and the restaurant.

Dal - yellow lentil soup

My lunch started with Dal - a yellow lentil soup which also had a hint of ginger and garlic. I mentioned that the menu seemed to list things with the same names as Indian food. She said the names and most of the ingredients would be the same as the Indian menus, particularly Northern Indian cuisine. She also said that the Nepalese cuisine was lighter than Indian, and I noticed it in this delightfully refreshing yet satisfying soup.

Veggie Momo's

I ordered Veggie Momo's, a Tibetan inspired treat. These had a thick dough that was steamed around cabbage, spinach and onions. It was good as well. I liked the light tomato-curry sauce that accompanied it. It had flavor without heaviness.

Eggplant Potato Curry

I enjoyed the Alu Bhanta as my main dish. It was described as Himalayan style cubes of eggplant and potatoes in curry sauce, and that pretty much sums it up. It was Indian like, yet lighter as I heard earlier. It came with a Papad (papadam equivalent), basmati rice and naan. All were warm and fresh. We also had quite a conversation about vegetarianism in Nepal, the inhabitants being mostly Hindu, it's quite prevalent as a lifestyle choice. The most popular meat is water buffalo! She said that most Himalayan restaurants in the US substitute beef. She mentioned that it is actually against the law to eat beef in Nepal. I asked about salmon in Nepal and she giggled softly, saying it's not to be found there, but locals love it! However, river fish is eaten in Nepal. I came away please with my meal and charmed by the good conversation and service!

And she gave me a little scoop on a Taste of the Himalayas that is soon to open in Sausalito. Although the restaurants are not related, one of the partners in this restaurant is opening the one in Sausalito -- and he's a great chef that will probably feature more fusion foods in the Sausalito venue!

Restaurant Inspection Results

Critical: 1
Noncritical: 1
Last inspected: November 20, 2009

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