Yesterday we decided to hit the Yak; we hadn't been since it switched to the Himalayan from the Tibetan :) We got there just after their lunch buffet had ended- about 3:30 and ordered a pot of buttered tea, vegetable mo mo, hand pulled noodles soup with radish and spinach, spinach and potatoes, steamed and baked rolls (one of each as everyone else seemed to be doing)and an order of sabzi- what the menu described as "spinach/mustard."
The mo mo seemed starchier and heavier overall this time. As a gal who likes her dumplings "etherially light" (unless of course they're pierogi) these kind of left me cold. I had remembered them a bit more thin skinned and more aggressively seasoned from last time. This time they were stuffed with a lot of potato and not much veggie. Buttered tea was great for the first few sips and then the saltiness started to take over and I switched to a Masala Chai which was a lot more refreshing. Spinach and potatoes were a complete loser-basically a small oval plate of undercooked, and way underseasoned potato slices- about 39 cents worth- with four fresh spicach leaves ( honestly) thrown in. A colossal rip-off for $7.99! We were in the mood for something verdant and so we ordered the aforementioned sabzi and received essentially a small bown of coarsely chopped, boiled greens that were neither spinach nor mustard. No real taste to them either. They kind of reminded me of broccoli di rape, but were begging for some spices and a sprinkling of oil.
The handpulled noodle soup, this time and last, was a real winner. With a few heaping spoonfuls of hot sauce thrown in, it was a sublime treat for a snowy day.
Service was friendly. Hindi videos played on a flat screen T.V.. There were quite a few hearing impaired people at various tables and there was a lot of signing going on; they all seemed to know each other. I wonder if there is a school for the deaf nearby. All of the people looked Tibetan/Himalayan/ Indian- we were the only Westerners there which I always take as a good sign. As it was a carb heavy meal (those steamed rolls sit in your tummy like lead- totally unnecessary )I didn't even order the fried noodles with sugar, barley flour, and grated cheese as much as it sounded like a dish I'd like. The owners, if the waiter is to be believed, are a Tibetan and a Himalyan - not Koreans as someone had told us recently.
Afterwards I got a few skewers of chorizo at the juice place on the corner of Roosevelt near the Colombian club, Chibcha. I think 77th.... and some take out rice and beans from the Pollos a la Brasa/ Palacio de los Frisoles place on the corner of 76th I think....All treats for my mom and dad who were not able to join us. I looked in vain for the oblea lady, but the snow must have scared her away.
A nice day over all. The Yak left me kind of let down with the exception of the soup. I'm not sure if it was just me and my standards or the fact that this is honestly the way this food is prepared and it's just not my thing. Bottom Line: I don't think I need to go back for another 2 years. BTW, around the corner from the Yak I noticed a red- awning-ed Tibetan restaurant and cafe that seemed to be having a Grand Opening.