Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant (San Diego)
Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant (San Diego) is located in the La Mesa area, tucked away in an unassuming strip mall.
I have to give Darren credit for this delicious find. We’ve been coming here for a couple years now and they never disappoint.
What is Nepalese cuisine you might ask? Good question! I had no idea the first time coming here. I can best describe it as a fusion of Indian (75%) and other Asian cuisines (25%). Having said that, this is the only Nepalese restaurant I frequent, so I don’t have much to compare it to. It’s great though.
First of all, this “little ” restaurant is no longer “little”! Not long ago, they occupied a much smaller space. The problem was that it was constantly packed during busy times. The owner decided to take over the next door space which was about 4 times the size as the original (while keeping the original too). This is fine by me! The new place is great and no more waiting outside in the cold. Once inside the restaurant, you are greeted with festive decor that instantly transports you to another world.
Anyhow, to begin the meal, they provide you with some Dal. Apparently “dal” is a traditional soup made of lentils and spices… think Indian split pea soup! I failed to take a picture, but it was a nice start to things.
For an appetizer, we ordered up some MoMo! Funny name, yes, but quite nice. These momo were vegetarian (minced cabbage, spinach, onion, mushrooms, etc.), but you can also get them filled with chicken or lamb. As you can see, the momo resemble a Chinese dumpling. The accompanying sauce is mildly spicy and adds an extra layer of flavors.
Our next 2 favorite dishes are the Tandoria Chicken and the Chicken Tiki Masala. Don’t let the generic names fool you… you have to try these.
When cooked perfectly, I believe the chicken tandori wins. But every now and then, the chicken is slightly over cooked. Tonight, it was perfect. It comes on a sizzling hot platter with fresh onions and veggies that are simply divine. The caramelized onions are fantastic. The chicken has a deep rich smoky flavor that permeates throughout. Eat this with their garlic naan and you’ll be in heaven!
Our next favorite dish here is their chicken tiki masala. Tonight the chicken was a touch dry, but the creamy sauce with herbs and spices rounded it out nicely. Even though you might have tried this at an Indian restaurant before, try it here. It’s a touch less pungent than most masalas, but still super flavorful and perfectly balanced.
So, not only did they take over the neighbor next door, they also went one suite over and opened a Bazaar while they were at it! By the time we got there it was closed, but I suspect they have some interesting spices you won’t be able to find elsewhere.
Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant
Corner of El Cajon Blvd. & Baltimore Dr.
7918 El Cajon Blvd. #P
La Mesa, CA 91941