Marin Independent Journal

Nepalese, Ethiopian flavors come to San Rafael

- By Leanne Battelle

Lamb curry and momo from the Himalayas in Nepal; stews and flatbread from the Horn of Africa; and healthy juice blends that initiated a health journey are recent San Rafael additions to seek out.

Nawang Sherpa and his nephew, Wangchhe Sherpa, natives of the Himalayas mountain range of Nepal, opened Himalayan Kitchen in late February in the Montecito Plaza.

“Our main focus is on bringing Nepalese cuisine to San Rafael — dumplings, chow mein and curries,” says Wangchhe Sherpa, who is managing the restaurant.

Nawang Sherpa is the restaurant's chef. Prior to moving to the United States and working at Indian restaurant­s in the Bay Area and Oregon for the past two decades, he was a cook on Mount Everest expedition­s, reaching the summit himself in 1998.

The menu is a hybrid of Nepali and Indian cuisines.

“We use similar spices as Indian cuisine — cumin, cardamon, turmeric, ginger and garlic — but in different ways,” Wangchhe Sherpa says.

It features chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian cur- ries; pan-fried chow mein; and Himalayan tandoori including pork ribs marinated with spices and barbecue sauce. House-made Nepalese steamed dumplings, or momos, are filled with vegetables, chicken or pork.

Thali, a combinatio­n platter of rice, lentils, curries and pickles, will soon be added to

the lunch menu.

Himalayan Kitchen is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays at 227 Third St. It replaces Masala Kitchen that operated there for two years.

The space is available for private functions for up to 60

guests and off-site catering is offered.

Find more informatio­n at himalayank­itchenmari­ or call 415-526-3161.

Ethiopian food

San Rafael resident Hidat Tikue, who moved to the U.S. from Tigray in northern Ethiopia

in 2011, brings the richly spiced comfort dishes from her homeland to the weekly Sunday Marin farmers market in San Rafael with the opening of Mana Ethiopian Food.

The name Mana is in honor of Tikue's grandmothe­r who

 ?? PHOTO BY WANGCHHE SHERPA ?? Himalayan Kitchen in San Rafael offers an array of momos, Nepalese steamed dumplings.
PHOTO BY WANGCHHE SHERPA Himalayan Kitchen in San Rafael offers an array of momos, Nepalese steamed dumplings.

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