Restaurant: Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine
Location: 262 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402. (424) 744-8948
Date: July 12 and August 22 & 31, 2019 & March 7, 2020
Cuisine: Nepalese / Tibetan
Rating: Salty, but tasty
I’ve been waiting for this new place to open right around the “corner” from me.
Himalayan is pretty exotic for Brentwood (and across from the Country Mart at that), but I’m glad to have something besides boring cafe fare.
Inside is pretty much what you’d expect.
The menu is pretty big.
Ginger tea was so hot I could barely drink it.
Samosas. Fairly typical, but include the sauces at least and very reasonably priced.
Tandori salmon. Lots of salmon, but the vegetables were a bit weird and there is a slightly sweet and sour sauce. The cooking also brings out the fishy quality of the salmon. Not my favorite dish.
Yak Chili. Sliced boneless Yak sautéed with fresh ginger, garlic, onion, tomato and bell pepper. This was very salty but had a very nice flavor. Pretty spicy too. The meat was chewy but rich and delicious. Not sure I’ve ever had yak before but happy to add it to the pile of meats I’ve devoured.
Tandoori baby back ribs. Tender pork ribs marinated in coconut milk, coriander, cumin and cardamon. Very mild and pleasant flavor. Almost sweet because of the coconut/cardamon vibe.
Lamb Korma. Boneless tender Lamb simmered with fresh garlic and ginger in a homemade curried coconut milk and cream sauce. This is basically Indian, and was quite mild. Decent flavor though.
Paneer Butter Masala. Homemade cheese cooked in our creamy tomato-butter sauce. Very similar to the Tikka Masala, maybe slightly more flavor — hard to tell.
Chicken Tikka Masala. Tender white meat chicken marinated in Himalayan spices, baked in our tandoori oven and served in our delicious tomato-onion cream sauce. Tasty chicken, sauce is great. Maybe the Butter version with the paneer was a touch better.
Lamb Tikka Masala. Marinated in Nepali spices then backed in a Tandoori oven, our tender lamb is served in a creamy tomato-onion sauce. Medium spicy and pretty good. Not as good as Akbar CTM, but solid.
Lamb Vindaloo. Boneless Lamb curry prepared with fresh potatoes, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and blend of Nepali herbs and spices. This was’t particularly spicy, or as “brown” as some vindaloos. It did have that tangy vinegar flavor but I didn’t like it as much as the Masalas.
Okra. Sautéed slices of okra and tomatoes sautéed in fresh garlic, cilantro, and Himalayan spices. Delicious with nice texture and great flavor.
Lamb Saag. Boneless tender lamb prepared with a puree of spinach seasoned with garlic, ginger, and roasted cumin powder. Slightly spicy and pretty tasty.
White Basmati rice.
I’ve been twice. I have to come back and expand my ordering, as I do love curry, but some of the items I had, particularly the Tikka Masala and Okra were really good. From the menu things are fairly similar to North Indian food, but with a few more exotic items like the Yak.