Monday, February 25, 2008

Tara's Himalayan Cuisine

You have to admit, the stretch of storefronts along Venice Blvd. in Palms is a commercial wasteland. Howard's Bacon and Avocado Burgers has a cool sign and Zabumba's might get you out for salsa night with the girls, but nearly the rest of the street begs for an overhaul.

Though after checking out Tara's Himalayan Cuisine (two doors down from Cafe Brazil) I realized there's far more than meets the eye. I first grabbed dinner here two weeks ago only to return 3 or 4 times, mainly for their pan-fried chicken dumplings otherwise known as kothey momo ($5.99). According to the menu, women in Tibet and Nepal gather together to make momo, expediting the process of rolling the dough and mixing the filling. I'm sure they get lots of gossiping done, too, so it's like killing two birds with one stone.

I've had a good share of mediocre dumplings in my lifetime. And even the good ones get old quickly because they use the same roundup of ingredients like garlic, salt and soy sauce. Momos, on the other hand, make use of cumin and coriandor, bringing out a hint of sweetness to the juicy, salted meat. Also, the wrappers are fresh, slightly chewy and pan-fried to a nice crisp. Just thinking about them makes me hungry.

The chicken korma ($7.99), cooked in a cashew nut and coconut milk-based curry, comes close to being addicting. The meat is soft, succulent and goes well with their fresh naan, which can be a satisfying meal in itself. Mikey loves the lamb curry. I'm not a fan of lamb from the start so I'm biased, but apparently it's not baaad. (Get it? har, har)

Last night, Tara herself happened to be our server. She's a nice lady with a glowing smile. She set up shop in Nepal and New York before opening the door in the heart of Palms. It's a humble mom-and-pop operation which adds to the charm.

I'm within walking distance from Tara's so I'll be coming back again soon. Believe me, those momos are to die for.

Eggplant curry

Daal Bhat Masu (Lamb curry served with mustard greens, rice, daal and naan)

Tikka Chicken, marinated overnight in Himalayan spices

Tara's Himalayan
10855 Venice Blvd.
LA, CA 90034
(310) 836-9696


In Other News...

I've decided to start a collection of videos showing all the cool Japanese sweets I come across. Though instead of Pocky and other generic stuff you find at the market, I'm going to document stuff people bring from various regions of Japan. You can find the first one here.
Digg this


H. C. said...

ooh, everything looks so delicious, 'specially the momos! My interest was piqued after I read What's to Eat LA's review a while back; but now I'm definitely making a point to go!

Aubrey said...

So glad you went here. It is by far one of the most underated places I have eaten at in LA to date. It's just so unassuming.


Nepalese food is fantastic, my wife and I eat it near our house in Manchester, England. Ask if they can make paneer chilli for you. Think sweet and sour texture cheese in batter, lots of onions and bell peppers, ooh my mouth's watering and I just ate. Or khazana e lazaat (I'm sure that's how it's spelled)

teenage glutster said...

Have you tried the yak?

It cost quite a bit more (especially for me!) but the beefy sans heavy taste of it is really unique.

I came to this place back then when it was known as Katmandu kitchen or something like that.

Tibet Nepal House in Pasadena is great too.

Christie said...

Oooh dumplings, I'm drooling!

T.B. said...

That eggplant curry looks divine! There are no really great places to find naan or a decent curry here, alas. I live vicariously through other folks' blogs.

Pirikara said...

Thanks everyone for commenting! This place is such a gem in Palms, or in LA for that matter. Tara is such a sweetie. She had me try her rice pudding and milk tea on the house. She's like a mom who shows her love through her food.

Aji De Mani said...

wow. that's our next stop! thank you for the review. I'm salivating just reading about it.

pleasurepalate said...

It was great meeting you at today. :) And in reading about Tara's, it's definitely hitting the Pleasure Palate dining calendar this year.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken the one that is marked as eggplant curry is actually okra(lady's-finger) curry. Also, "khazana e lazaat" doesn't sound Nepali, it must be a place with some Indian place; hence, Hindi name.

Anonymous said...

Indian influence I mean :)

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