Down the street from our house, we have often walked by a fairly unimpressive restaurant facade with the name “Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine” emblazoned above it. Every time we walk by, the Boy looks up. “We should try that sometime.”
And so, finally, we did.
Being “Himalayan Cuisine,” Tara’s serves a combination of Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan dishes, and is decorated pretty much as one might expect such a restaurant to be – dim lights (sorry for the grainy photos), colorful textiles, paintings of the Himalayas. Nothing terribly surprising.
We were given a complimentary appetizer of papadum, with a tomato-y dipping sauce – simple, nothing exceptional, but tasty. We also ordered some samosas ($2.99), which came with tamarind and mint chutney. They were very tasty, with a crispy exterior and well-flavored, steamy potato interior.
I got a mango lassi ($2.99), because I cannot resist a mango lassi, and it was pretty delicious – creamy and mango-y (as one would hope a mango lassi would be).
Next up, the main courses (for sharing, of course). We had to try yak, the strangest ingredient on offer (that we noticed), so we opted for the Yak Chili ($12.99). It wasn’t really a chili, at least not how I picture chili, but instead more of a stir fry with onions, peppers, ginger, and garlic. While interesting and with a good kick, I found the yak a bit stringy and the dish a little bland under its spiciness. I probably wouldn’t get it again (though now I can say I’ve tried yak!).
Our other main dish was Aloo Bodi Tama ($7.99), a sort of Nepalese curry with bamboo shoots, potatoes, and black-eyed peas. I really enjoyed the flavors in this dish, and I love a potato curry. I’ve also never had something like this with black-eyed peas before, so that was a fun twist.
Tara’s has a menu section full of breads – naan and parathas – and while usually I find naan irresistible, we had to try the Raisin Paratha ($3.99), which was described as having raisins (duh) and garlic – what an odd combo. It was YUMMY, however (admittedly, I’m an easy sell with bread), with the sweet raisins and savory garlic complimenting each other beautifully in the tender bread. An excellent accompaniment for all the spice on the table.
Tara’s is a great under-the-radar place to try some dishes you haven’t tried before – in fact, we liked it so much we ended up ordering takeout from it a few days later (yes, they deliver – #winning). We also walked away with leftovers from this meal – a good value and tasty! I’m very pleased to say we can count this among our neighborhood spots…even if I’m not that into yak.
Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine
10855 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034