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Restaurants & Bars

[PDX] Two from Tibet...

Nick | Dec 10, 200311:45 PM

Chefrodrigo over on eGullet reported on a Tibetan place the other day ( Tried to go there for lunch, but I had remembered it as E 21st and Burnside for whatever reason and drove around getting pissed off until I decided I'd just try the one over on Sandy, Lungta.

It's at 4644 NE Sandy and has a little parking in the back. It's a small little place, maybe 10 tables. For lunch they had a buffet for just under $6. There were about 6 items on the buffet. I got a to-go menu and the entrees are all under $10 with noodle dishes significantly under $10, closer to $5 or $6. The dishes seem very much like a mixture of Chinese and Indian. Maybe that's not accurate. What it really seems like is that there are Chinese dishes and/or there are Indian dishes.

The buffet had a mixture with a chow mein, a chicken curry, a beef and potato soup with noodles, some sauteed zucchini with Indian spices, Tibetan flatbread, rice, some sort of salad-like thing of shredded carrots and another vegetable in a sort of tangy dressing, and lentil soup. I tried everything but the lentil soup and the chow mein.

One problem is under-salting. It's not a big problem because there's salt on the table. But I think some people would be wondering why their food has no flavor, not realizing it needs salt. This isn't just me, either. I went to lunch with my wife and even she had to salt it and she never salts anything. I also had a little chile sauce they had on the table to spice it up. It's potent stuff with little tiny spoonfuls making a huge difference. The chicken curry was decent, though nothing special. Same with the beef and potato soup. The zucchini were okay for what they were. I liked the flatbread pretty well. Very soft and spongy with a slight crust on the outside. They're about 3 or 4 inches across and a little more than half an inch thick. I ate almost no rice because I preferred eating my curry with the bread instead. The little salad thing wasn't that great. My wife had the chow mein and wasn't impressed.

Overall, it's okay, but I won't hurry to go for dinner. If I'm in the neighborhood, it might be worth another try since the dinner menu is more interesting than the buffet, probably better quality, and has good prices.

They're open M-S for lunch 11:30 to 2:30, buffets on weekdays. They're open 5:30 to 9:00 for dinner.

You can find an intro to Tibetan food here:

As I was driving around between Whole Foods and City Market this evening I realized that it was NW Burnside not E Burnside so I decided to have dinner there. I got a table by myself and ordered the yak curry.

The place is more pleasant inside than Lungta and much bigger, though still not big. There's plenty of parking. The couple who runs it are very nice, though they can get quite frazzled when they're busy. They weren't busy while I was there, but a party of 20 or so came in and that picked up their pace.

Prices are higher here than lungta, but still fair. You can get a curry with bread or rice and choose mild, medium, or spicy. I chose spicy and the bread. The bread is interesting, like a folded roll that uncoils and peels apart. It's dotted with some sort of aromatic herb, but I'm not sure what. I enjoyed the bread, though. Different from the bread at Lungta, but I like both. The curry wasn't a big portion, but a fair portion. I think you'd probably get more at most other places serving curries, either Thai or Indian. Honestly, I couldn't tell the difference between the yak and beef that's been sitting around in my frig. It's a little tough, but other than that, very beefy, really. I think there's less of a difference between beef and that yak than there is between veal and beef. But it was decent. Still nothing special, though, but good. I ordered spicy, but I think they gave me mild. Some guy at the table next to mine was complaining about the heat so maybe they mixed up the spice on the orders.

I wouldn't mind going there again, especially with friends so I could taste more dishes, but I don't feel a strong urge. I'd probably choose a decent Indian place in town first. There is a bigger menu here than Lungta.

The address, btw, is 103 NW 21st Ave.


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