The menu at Masala Jack's traditional curry house is a savory bouquet of fragrant, time-honored Indian classics supplemented by vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Diners ease into delicious culinary waters with a variety of appetizers, which include the samosa chole—a pastry-encased potato phenom flanked by garbanzo beans ($3.99)—and the classic garlic naan, which emerges hot from a clay oven before receiving a college education and sprinklings of freshly chopped garlic and cilantro ($1.99). Cool lassi (starting at $1.99), available in strawberry, mango, sweet, or salty flavors, serves as a healing balm for taste buds on a joyful return journey from the spicy, onion-laden battlegrounds of the karahi lamb ($9.99) or chicken ($8.99).
Shree Indian Cuisine's chefs embrace culinary traditions from both northern and southern corners of the subcontinent and adhere to centuries-old techniques for baking naan. Orders of the traditional leavened bread can emerge from the kitchen plain or with sweet and savory fillings of nuts, fruits, and chilies. To accompany the naan, the chefs can simmer toothsome vegetables and homemade cheese in a fragrant sauce or roast small clay pots of marinated lamb, chicken, or fish in a tandoor oven. They can also customize the amount of spice in any dish, making it mild and savory or intensely hot, like the molten lava that warms George Foreman grills.
The fragrant curries and tomato-based sauces even fit into the dining room's decor, with its pale orange and wine-red walls that surround a stool-lined bar in the center of the space. Hexagonal Indian lanterns dangle from the ceiling, and the framed wall art also helps evoke the feel of southern Asia.
After owning a restaurant and motel in Nepal and working as an executive in Indian restaurants in Sonoma County, Gopal Gauchan established Everest Indian Restaurant in 2009 to serve his own favorite Indian, Nepalese, and Tibetan recipes. Colorful bowls of lamb curry catch diners' eyes as they travel through the spacious dining room, alighting on tables alongside fresh tofu matar or chicken tandoori.
At Namaste Kitchen, Chef Laxmi Gauchan showcases Tibetan specialties, such as steamed momos, or dumplings, stuffed with freshly ground lamb. Her kitchen grants diners the chance to sample North Indian and Nepali food, as well as a broad swath of Asian delicacies. In addition to familiar dishes such as baingan bartha and saag paneer, diners can explore more obscure dishes, such as gye tukh, a traditional tibetan noodle soup.
Named for the Sanskrit salutation for love and friendship, the restaurant strives to embody its namesake by fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Walls are swathed in burnt oranges and browns, and windows are draped in strings of lights that rearrange themselves to spell out each new patron’s name.