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.
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.
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.
Chef Anil Shahu draws upon 11 years of culinary experience as he seeks out seasonal ingredients and locally grown produce for his menu of hearty Indian cuisine. Although Anil mainly creates chicken and lamb entrees with aromatic blends of saffron, paprika, and cilantro, Novato Patch focused on the eatery's maritime offerings, claiming, "what sets Batika apart is a nice array of seafood dishes, especially dishes from Kerala, the garden state of India." These entrees include tiger shrimp with lemon pepper, salmon in coconut gravy, and fiery scallops sautéed with tomatoes, all made with the freshest finds from area's farmers' and merfarmers' markets.
The dining room's mottled walls sport woven clothing, fabric patches, and a line of framed mirrors, echoing the rustic flavors of the cuisine. Dangling pendant lamps and an elegant chandelier help to brighten up the room's burgundy-and-burnished-gold color scheme.
The key to making chef Hardip Singh’s northern Indian cuisine, like the key to backflipping a marathon, is preparation. He and his staff at Anokha Cuisine of India grease their pans with canola or olive oil only, buy organic ingredients when possible, and blend their spices by hand. All that prep pays off. The menu features flavorful versions of prawn curry in tomato-onion gravy, lamb vindaloo with blazing-hot spices, and chicken tikka masala in a mild cream sauce.