Trek to Pasadena for a Himalayan Feast

The menu at Tibet Nepal House can be overwhelming. With dozens of dishes, half from Tibet and half from Nepal, it’s hard to know what to choose. So pleasurepalate sat down with the restaurant’s owner to plan a Himalayan feast.

Results: mostly fabulous, with a couple of dull exceptions. Standouts included:

Yak momos, or dumplings, are surprisingly tasty, and nicely seasoned—they’re great on their own or with the accompanying sauce.

Chicken breast can be dry as a bone, but after soaking in sour cream and Himalayan spices, the kukhura sekuwa is moist and tender, with sweet-hot flavor. Another chicken dish, chyamtango pujaari, gets pumped-up flavor from dry chile, cumin, garlic, and Nepali spices.

There’s good stuff for vegetarians, too. Tofu saag is basically a nondairy version of saag paneer, with fried tofu soaking up the flavor of puréed, spiced spinach. The ginger hits you hard in Arun Valley saag, bok choy also cooked with garlic, onion, and celery, which tastily balance out the ginger in the end. The chef has an interesting way with mustard greens, as well, cooking them with cabbage, tomato, and spices in a dish called goodruk. The bitter greens go well with the tomatoes’ acidity.

Tibetan bread is whole wheat, but don’t kid yourself it’s healthy—it’s deep-fried, not baked. But it’s always fun to eat light-crispy fried dough, right? Another whole wheat bread, chyamtange dhopzi, is more like bad pita.

And house-made rice pudding is a winner of a dessert: light, creamy, and just sweet enough.

Set menu, prearranged, is $35 per person.

Tibet Nepal House [Eastside]
36 E. Holly Street, Pasadena
626-585-9955
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Board Links: “Himalayan Feast” at Tibet Nepal House (review+pics)

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