Before my first visit to on Solano Avenue in Albany, I knew very little about Nepalese and Tibetan food. Similar to Indian cuisine, it has all the flavor of its southern neighbor, but lacks a certain heaviness often found in big family-style meals at the Indian restaurants I've tried.
Small, warm and beautifully decorated, Kathmandu's atmosphere is unpretentious. The waitstaff is careful, without being obsessive.
For my late lunch I decided to go with the traditional Nepali Dall Bhat combination plate. There is an option of a vegetarian plate, as well as chicken or goat meat. Wanting to try something new, I went with goat. The pieces of meat were well cooked and broke apart with my fork, like a good pot roast. The meal came with a heap of basmati rice, a salad and a cup of mild, but flavorful lentil soup.
The main plate was surrounded by several smaller plates, and containers filled with tasty additional options for your meal. I'm still not sure which one traditionally goes with what, but I experimented with it all and figured out what worked for me.
The spicy tomato achar complemented the tender chunks of goat meat, the minty yogurt sauce doubled as dressing for my salad, and the pickled vegetables were delicious and refreshing wrapped in a piece of roti.
Curious about the cinnamon lassi? Think horchata deluxe.
When I got up from the table I felt pleasantly full instead of uncomfortably stuffed. In my experience this happens after only the best and most balanced meals.
Make your way over to Solano and get a taste of Nepal and Tibet, and don't forget to stop by , the affiliated store next door which sells a variety of colorful Himalayan items like scarves, singing bowls, jewelry, pillows and bedspreads.
is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch with some great specials; Monday through Thursday, 5-9:30 p.m. for dinner; Friday and Saturday, 5-10 p.m., and on Sunday, 5-9 p.m.