Friday, 2 May 2008

Kathmandu Kitchen

The great thing about Kathmandu Kitchen is that there are a ton of vegetarian options. It makes my little heart leap when the appetizers are divided into the categories "Vegetarian" and "Non-vegetarian" and after the first page of veggie entrees, there's a "continued." Of course, Indian food is naturally vegetarian friendly (that whole "cows are sacred" thing). Kathmandu Kitchen doesn't just have Indian food, though -- they also have Nepalese dishes.

The appetizers are great. In fact, we almost always order the Himalayan sampler, which comes with pakoras, samosas, bread, and momos, which are steamed dumplings. The momos are my least favorite, being very delicately seasoned and sometimes a little mushy. The samosas are terrific and the bread is usually fresh and soft. The appetizers are served with four sauces, the tamarind being my favorite.

The entrees run toward your standard Indian fare, although there are some unusual options, like the saag (spinach) and tofu, which is like saag paneer, but, you know, tofu. There's also Tibetan Chau Chau which is a noodle dish that seems like a Chinese dish.

I'm usually a chana dal or chana masala girl, but at Kathmandu Kitchen, my favorite dish is the Aloo Kauli Ko Tarkari, which is primarily cauliflower and potatoes, although it also includes peas and tomatoes. It can be a little oily, but I still think it's one of the best things on the menu.

If you like your food spicy, you will need to order it "Indian hot," and then convince the waiter that you really mean it. If you simply order it hot, it comes medium to mild. (Note bene: My non-spice-loving friends completely disagree and feel that the mild is hot, so take my suggestion with a grain of salt, and maybe a delicious mango lassi to cut the heat.)

I really like the thali dinner, as it comes with a dal, naan, chutney and curry. (The thali and a la carte both come with rice.) That's a lot of food, though, especially if you have the Himalayan appetizer, so I'd suggest picking either the appetizer or the thali. The dishes are also available a la carte.

Now for the bad. As I said, the food can be a little oily. Also, the service is, to put it charitably, a little slow. There was a kitchen fire a while back, and before the fire, the walls were a garish green and orange and there was a wonderful waiter. Afterwards, the walls are pleasant cream and blue and the good waiter is gone. They're very nice, just slow.

The beverage list is fairly thorough, including several Indian beers, lassis, chai, "Indian soda" (Italian soda with unusual flavors, I believe -- my husband tried to order one once and they didn't have any that evening), and soft drinks and wine. The wines include a couple Reislings and a Gewurztraminer, which I think would be nice with the food. Almost everything comes by the glass.

My carnivorous companion's favorite is the lal mas, a spicy lamb dish that he always wishes was a little spicier.

Overall not bad, but if you're closer to Kaveri on Fulton or Pooja's in West Sac, just go there.

3 of 5 Sackatomatoes

1728 Broadway, Sacramento, CA