Somewhere in Asia: Part II

by Marisa Olsen


After our dumpling experience, we wandered up to 1st and First to chow down at our favorite Tibetan restaurant, Café Himalaya. A few things you must know. The word dingy could be used to describe the atmosphere, but I prefer simple. Boasting of four tables and one small couch, Café Himalaya is cozy without the frills of plush seating or wall art. It’s bare bones, but that’s what we love about it. Also the service is so friendly, cheap (the most expensive entrée is $10.50) AND serves tasty food. You have been warned that it is cash only, but the BYO makes up for that quite easily.

We ordered the Shapta, beef with ginger, garlic, chilis, pepper and hot sauce. Although the beef was slightly chewy, the sauce had a very nice balance of sweet and spicy, and managed to not be too oily either. Our noodle dish was sel Gyathuk Ngopa, pan-fried noodles (similar to lo mein), with cabbage, peas, carrots, and grilled tofu. The crispness to the noodles was very nice, and the veggies cut down on the oil factor. Not a ton of flavor, but light and easy to enjoy. We also ordered paratha bread, which was decadently buttery and fluffy—the perfect accoutrement to the beef sauce. Our bill came to $20.95 (total) and we each took home leftovers. Café Himalaya is a wonderful spot to go with good friends and share all sorts of dishes (many vegetarian) without breaking the bank.