Monday, August 23, 2010

Taste is finally here!

Taste of the Himalayas

Taste of the Himalayas in Sausalito opened just last Friday for dinner after much anticipation. I've been watching the build out closely and looking forward to having food from the Himalayas so close and available!  I had some correspondence with one of the owners, Pemba, wanting to know the moment the new place would be open!  Some of the correspondence happened on their convenient Facebook page where they showed the progress towards completing the build out and opening.  I've also been following the progress on Twitter. And I wrote about the opening in last week's Bread and Butter.

I was happy to finally meet Pemba and his sister Dawa in person this evening when I stopped by for my first dinner at Taste of the Himalayas.

And how is the food?  Well see what I had!

Pani Puri

This appetizer is called Pani Puri ($6). I was so excited to find a new taste treat!  I had never heard of this Nepali street food which is described as semolina puffs stuffed with fork crushed spiced chick peas and potatoes, and chilled masala infused pani.  The small white decanter in the photo above holds what looks like water, but it is a watery topping which contains black salt, which I was told is very good for your body.  All this and a delicious light bite too.

Alu Bhanta

For my main course I tried the Alu Bhanta ($10), which is potato and eggplant curry which comes with a side of the lightest saffron basmati rice.  I had it spiced medium and the spicing was just perfect for my taste. Usually I eat the items in the curry with the sauce on the items, but do not eat much of the curry sauce itself with these type of curry dishes.  I scraped every drop of this curry sauce out of the bowl, it was just too luscious to leave any.

Ju ju Dabi

I asked which of the desserts was the most Himalayan as the restaurant draws its offerings from Nepali, Tibetian and Indian foods, and I was told the Ju ju Dabi ($5) would be it.  Pemba sent me out one as a treat, and it wowed me.  It is described on the menu as saffron infused sweet creamy yogurt in a raw clay pot.  Dawa told me that she had brought back the authentic clay pots from Nepal.  The pot was so cute!  She said that the raw clay pot was used because it is absorbent and that it drew out the watery liquid of the yogurt, making the texture creamier and thicker.  There were pistachios scattered on the top, and the wax paper covering was artfully scrolled part way back.  It has a satisfying sweet yet tart taste, and reminded me of a bit thicker Greek yogurt.

The space is also simple yet elegant and I understand that they are starting with a simple menu and will be expanding and exploring new menu items as they ramp up over the next few weeks, including adding a vegetarian Momo (dumpling) next week. Other Himalayan genre restaurants I have been to tend to be a little more family style with less emphasis on presentation.  Sausalito's new Taste of the Himalayas chef shows much more attention to beautiful presentation which only enhances the experience.

Restaurant Inspection Results

The Taste of the Himalayas is too new to be listed and inspected at the time of post publication.

Find address/phone number/directions on Anna's Map.

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