Diners get a taste of Nepalese food at this cozy Bernal Heights spot..
An eclectic neighborhood crowd, ranging from aging hipsters to young families, packs this tiny space. Ten tables line the cozy wood-paneled walls, brightened by miniature drop lamps hanging over tables. Himalayan flute music plays quietly in the background, as the friendly waitstaff races from the kitchen.
The Nepalese food served here is strikingly similar to the cuisine of northern India, with a few variations. Momos, doughy steamed dumplings, are stuffed with curried pork, or lumpy mashed potatoes and peas, set off with spicy dipping sauce made from ground peanuts and sesame seeds. Among curries, the kukhura ra mula, with tender chunks of chicken and daikon radish, is a satisfying contrast of textures and flavors. Sizzling-hot tandoori platters are uneven--chicken can be dry, lamb tough and mahi mahi moist. Skip super-sweet desserts like kheer and halvah. Instead, try suddha dahi, a tangy-sweet yogurt drink, or thick Himalayan tea.
Average.... The food was average. They offered mostly Indian dishes which are common to most Indian restaurants. This is not a vegetarian restaurant as the citysearch marks it as. It offers vegetarian dishes like many other restaurants. Ambience was decent though.
Definitely a destination spot. First learned of this place from the April 04 issue of San Francisco magazine and decided to try it, never having had cuisine from Nepal before. It was a great experience, from our friendly wait staff to the delicious food. The curry made with tandoori chicken was so good, we could've licked the bowl it came in and ordered another! Only somewhat down side: sitting very close to the next table and hearing their conversations (and having yours heard as well), but that's pretty typical of small neighborhood restaurants. Make the trip to Bernal Hts. and eat here!
Really good Nepalese Food. Located at the end of cortland Street. This has become one of my favourite restaurant. The food, the tradition, and the ambiance is great.
My FAVORITE restaurant.
This is absolutely my favorite restaraunt in the city. The service is so warm and friendly and the place is so clean and quaint.
My favorite dish is the tofu tandori, with a sauce that I cannot truly explain to give it any justice, but is to die for. Sort of creamy, with spices that are almost sweet. YUMM.
It does get crowded on the weekends, and there isn't a good place to wait. But make reservations or go on a weekday and it's a snap!
they lie about the wait.
After being told the wait would be a specific 7 to 8 minutes (not 78 minutes - we asked), we waited over 50 minutes!
As the wait progressed, and we inquired, the owner/host would say things like, "oh, it's about 3-4 more minutes."
At that point they showed us a table for a party of 5, where three people would sit on one side and two on either end. (Meaning one long side of the rectangle would be empty and three people would be facing no one.) Of course this was a ridiculous seating arrangement, and neither us or the 6 top after us chose to sit there.
When we explained our feelings, the owner/host said rudely, "Ok, then wait." I would have left had we not waited 1 hour at that point.
They made NO apology, NO compensation and didn't even offer us a free appetizer while waiting.
Great start-up. The service was a little disorganised, but that's not hard to expect from a place that's only been open for a couple of weeks. The food was really good and overall I enjoyed the experience. Go there--you'll have a good night out and it will help them get their business off the ground.
The best Bernal experience. We were 4 people on Saturday night and waited patiently for 30 minutes as we studied the menu. We had tandoori chicken and lamb plus shrimp in curry along with those fabulous momo-dumplings and spinach stir fried with onions. The rice and naan included in the meal were fresh and delectable. The service was great too. In between mouthfuls we all praised the food and swore to go back again and again. We now have their menu for delivery in the Bernal Heights area. Too bad this will really have people discovering the neighborhood.
The Little Nepal restaurant will have its tables booked solid indefinitely as soon as people discover its tandoori chicken curry (Kukhurako Ledo), in which already excellent tandoori chicken is taken to the next stratosphere with a light but creamy and beautifully spiced, perfectly balanced sauce.
Paired with competitive naan at competitive price, this dish is a candidate for--no kidding--the best ethnic dish in San Francisco, and most flavor for dollar. It competes favorably with, for instance, the duck curry at Thep Phanom, the famous lamb and chicken curries at Shalimar, and the Achar Ghost at Alhamra (all must-tastes for the SF foodie).
The wine list is pitiful, and should be reworked for more appropriate choices (e.g. German/Austrian Rieslings) but they have the important beers (e.g. Taj Mahal, Flying Horse). $5 corkage forgives the poor list.
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