I had dinner at Katmandu Kitchen last night with a group of 12, so we were able to try many of the items on the menu. This place is really good and cheap! And pretty authentic Nepali food [along with some Tibetian] for the most part.
It's a fairly small restaurant with seating for about 20-30 indoors. The walls are decorated with paintings of Nepal's rural villages. There is a small outdoor area but it's not currently avalable for seating.
Everything was good.
Chicken Momos w/ tomato chutney on the side.
- These are dumplings of Tibetian origin. I prefer them steamed versus the fried version. Similar to potstickers, but more flavorful. They also have this in a veggie version...not nearly as good.
You get 10 for $5.99. Listed as an appetizer, but in Nepal, this is usually a meal in itself.
Himalayan Munchy (better known as papadum/pappad)
You get 2 big pieces of these sundried discs made of yellow lentil paste. Go with the fried one vs. the roasted. Full of light crunchy yumminess with hints of black pepper. Only a buck.
Entrees are served in au gratin dishes. Veggie ones are $5 and meat dishes are $6. You have to order rice extra, but it's only $2 for a huge portion.
"Black magic soup" This is about as authentic Nepali as you can get. While many Nepali dishes overlap with those found in Indian cuisine, this one doesn't cross borders. It's a simple dish of split black lentils cooked with ginger and "jimbu," a spice used only in Nepali cooking [that I'm aware of]. It's vegeterian friendly, but has the flavor of a good rich meaty stock. Nepali comfort food.
"Mustard miniac." Mustard greens cooked with more mustard. It has the good bitterness that states that it's very good for your health. It may be an acquired taste for some, but most in our party found it to be good.
"Raajma." This is the Nepali version of Red Beans (and Rice). It has a smooth buttery bean flavor complemented with subtle hints of cumin, onion and garlic.
"Chana Tarkari" A garbanzo bean curry. It's good, but I'd skip on it since you can find it at any Indian restaurant.
"Bamboo curry" aka Tama. Yet another stictly Nepali dish of bamboo shoots, potatoes and black eyed peas, flavored with chilis and mustard powder with a hint of sour due to the fermented bamboo. They make it with a think gravy. Yummy.
Thalaki Chicken. Describes as "A spicy gravy style chicken cooked in Thakali (Nepali tribe) style." This was extremely good. The texture is a bit weird, with less chinks of chicken than I'd hope for, but the gravy is superb with a robust flavor.
Lamb Kebab. Don't mistake this for the kebabs of the Middle East. This is lamb in a very thick gravy cooked with ginger, garlic, cumin, cloves, chili, etc. Can you smell it yet?
Other dishes available are Dal (yellow lentils), Alu Gobi, string beans, potato w/ eggplant, spinach with garlic curry, chicken with mustard greens, marinated soybeans, butter chicken and chicken/lamb masala. A Thali-to-go combo dinner is an option for $9.99. Then there's also the Tibetian noodle soup "Thukpa," available with veggie, beef or chicken for $5 or $6.
Desserts feature rice pudding and a carrot pudding, neither of which we tried. There's also nepali tea (similar to Indian chai, but usually with more milk) and Lassi for only $1.
Overall, there's a pretty good selection of Nepali dishes. I would have liked to see some meat dishes with goat (which is more traditionally Nepali)instead of lamb, but I've been managing to get my goat fix at the West LA Oaxacan restaurants.
Katmandu Kitchen has a lunch buffet everyday (11.30 - 4.00) for $5.99, which seems like an incredible deal if the food is as good as it is during dinner.
This place will hit any true Chowhound's spot.
10855 1/2 Venice Blvd (at Midvale)
Dinner 6-9pm Su-Th