When Capital Public Radio reporter Elaine Corn visited Kathmandu Kitchen in 2009, she spoke to two servers—Paritosh and Rosy—who explained the nuances of their native Nepalese cuisine. A small yet diverse country, Nepal draws from distinct culinary influences: Tibet and China to the north and India along the south. As such, diners viewing Kathmandu Kitchen’s menu for the first time are greeted with a cross section of its varied cuisine, which includes Tibetan-style pan-fried noodles, tandoor-cooked chicken tikka masala, and fiery curries seasoned with cumin and garlic. The uninitiated are the lucky ones; Rosy explains that having first-time visitors to the restaurant is one of her favorite things. “If I find a person coming for the first time in this restaurant, I’ll be the happiest person at that moment. Because we feel it’s really important that people from America are valuing us, too, through our food.” Tables clad in white linens and a mural of the Himalayas surround Nepal’s beloved regional dishes, which coalesce perfectly in the form of thali, a tray filled with a harmonious blend of dumplings, flatbread, and lentils crowned with a main course.
Kathmandu Kitchen’s wide spectrum of aromatic and authentic vegetarian, chicken, lamb, and seafood entrees pleases just about every palate. The eatery has earned recognition from a host of local sources, including spots on the Top Five Best Indian restaurants list by CityVoter and the Top 100 list by Local Eats.
Bombay Bar & Grill lures diners with an approachable menu of mildly spiced Indian cuisine that Zagat scored as "very good to excellent." To enhance the flavors of free-range lamb and chicken as well as the housemade cheese, the chefs track down seasonal herbs and vegetables and incorporate them into their ever-changing menu. Skewers of meats and vegetables marinate in yogurt and mustard sauce before being roasted over the tandoor oven's bed of smoldering charcoal, and orders of chicken or lentils simmer in creamy curries.
Colorful, mismatched pendant lights hang from the dining room's ceiling and illuminate the area's bright-red and deep-purple walls. A turquoise-hued bar dominates one side of the restaurant, tempting guests with its selection of Indian beers and its bartenders who look like they need to hear a good joke. Belly dancers occasionally stop by and amp up the cultural atmosphere.
Curry Club Indian Bistro serves up a spice-laden spread of curries, vindaloos, and tandoori dishes made from traditional North Indian recipes, spanning locales including Punjab and Kashmir. Whipping up lunch buffets and dinners once enjoyed by Mughal noblefolk and emperors, the chefs pride themselves on their authentic biryani, fluffy naan, and korma. Each tender morsel of chicken tikka and tandoori-cooked meat bakes to perfection in a traditional clay oven, which is made from Punjabi clay, rather than cutting corners with the more accessible Play-Doh.