The Himalaya Mountains are a region frozen in time, populated with Mount Everest–snowboarding monks and confused yetis looking for the nearest cell phone tower. Take a bite out of southeast Asia's culinary traditions with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Himalayan food and drink at Namaste Shangri-La, located on East Tudor.
Namaste Shangri-La fuses traditional cuisine from Nepal, India, Burma, and Tibet into a turbo-charged menu of appetizers, entrees, soups, desserts, and vegetarian options. Rev up mouth motors with the palak shorva soup, a green spinach broth spiked with split chickpeas ($4.95), or an authentic shrimp rangoon , with the cooked crustaceans sautéed with chilis and onions ($8.95). Vegetarians exult in Namaste's meat-free choices, such as the vegetable pakora, with mixed veggies coated in chickpea flour, deep fried, and blanketed with sweet tamarind and mint chutney ($7.95). For dessert, the Indian-style chilled rice pudding kheer rushes to the scene, extinguishing spicy food-induced inner infernos while calmly encouraging fatigued jaw muscles to go the extra mile ($5.25).
The bold herbs and spices of Nepalese, Indian, Burmese, and Tibetan cuisines converge on Namaste Shangri-La's menu, giving diners a brief overview of the Himalayan region's rich culinary offerings. These dishes vary in their heat and intensity, ranging from tender lamb in an incendiary vindaloo sauce to skewers of jumbo shrimp that are marinated in savory Indian spices and then roasted inside a clay tandoor oven.
Many of the entrees eschew meat entirely while still embracing the rich flavors that characterize Himalayan cooking. Cubes of homemade cottage cheese simmer in a fragrant tomato-onion sauce with a dash of fenugreek seeds, and pomegranate sauce adds a hint of sweetness to orders of organic chickpeas. With its lemon-yellow walls, scattered artwork, and display cases full of imported rainbows, Namaste Shangri-La's dining room complements the vibrant flavors featured in its cuisine.