Namaste, my little pakora.
I dropped by this new strip-mall Indian/Himalayan restaurant on Mendocino Avenue about a month ago, and was really impressed. Not surprisingly, since Himalayan Cafe & Grill was a favorite of mine when they were located in Windsor several years ago.
What was a depressing steam table of meh biryani and tikka masala has been transformed into a cozy little eatery with wood tables and some spectacular Indian food. Top picks include lentil soup (dal), which is rich and flavorful rather than it’s usually watery counterpart; fresh butter naan, exotically spiced biryani (rice with dried fruits and meat), saag paneer (fresh cheese in creamy spinach sauce) and my surprise favorite, tofu chili. Stir fried tofu is punched up with red onions, peppers, spices and a touch of heat.
The only miss: Very tough cubes of chicken in our Tikka Masala. We’re willing to forgive and forget, however, since the other dishes were so impressive.
1880 Mendocino Ave, Suite D, Santa Rosa, himalayancatering.com Open for lunch and dinner, but closed Sunday.