This place just opened in my neighborhood in what used to be a lousy Indian place. I was very excited and hoping for some yak but no luck; the elusive beast was not part of the buffet.
I tried their $5.99 lunch buffet today. It was excellent. As I filled my plate the mgr. Premu attended to me as he's obviously anxious about his new business. So, noticing that the buffet items resembled those you often see in Indian buffets, I asked him what distinguishes Nepalese food from northern Indian cuisine.
He said that it's mostly in the spices and said he uses a homemade blend of 12 herbs and spices versus the prepackaged spice mixes favored by many Indian restaurants. He added that they don't use as much "spice," meaning "heat." I did not grill him for more specifics but my meal supported what he told me. he does use ghee "a little". he seemed a bit cautious about this, probably because people are afraid of ghee for health reasons.
DOES ANYONE KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS? since you have to burn off the milk solids to make ghee i have always doubted that ghee is unhealthy. auryurvedic cooks claim it is great for you; on the other hand, the owner of Surya once told me that it's death. i don't know what to believe but there is no substitute for the taste.
The buffet selections were:
-rice (short grain with peas and carrots). 'twas adequate.
-yellow dal. soupy with a nice ghee flavor.
-a mixed bean dal of chickpeas, kidneys and maybe something else? red color; more flavorful than the lentils.
-green beans and potatoes. looked similar to what you might find in an Indian restaurant but way more flavorful. the potatoes were slightly browned. i loved this dish
-peas, carrots and?? sorry... didn't take notes. a sweeter vegetable dish. good but not as good as the potato dish.
-shredded cabbage. kept warm and lightly flavored. a really nice side.
-lamb kabob. braised on the bone (eat carefully!) and wonderful. i've got to find out more about the herb/spice blend they make.
-tandoori chicken. standard; less flavorful than what i'm accustomed to but cooked well and tossed with lime and onion.
-watermelon for dessert
they serve the buffet until 4:30; they're open until 10pm. they DELIVER after 5 which is great news in a neighborhood that is hurting for good delivery options.
as you can tell, i recommend this place. i'm looking forward to going for dinner and ordering off of the menu (haven't looked at it yet). one note of caution to those who want to eat something light: this food is pretty heavy but i ate a lot and feel great; it doesn't sit in your stomach like a rock.
Katmandu Kitchen, "A taste of Everest"
10855 1/2 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034