Himalayan Kabob and Curry House

tikka.jpg
When eating with friends, I make it a rule not to judge food too harshly. I’m there for the company, after all. Seems that reaching across the table to sample, then trash your pal’s carefully thought-out lunch tends to make people a little uncomfortable. Don’t ask me why.

That rule gets thrown out the window when I’m with other serious eaters.  We snatch crumbs off each others’ plates, order as many items off the menu as we can afford and dish snarky critiques amongst ourselves.

So it’s a rare restaurant that gets a unanimous forks-up. But Petaluma’s spanking-new Himalayan Kabob and Curry House got our tongues wagging — and not just with Frances’ blazing-hot curry.

The spot on Western Ave., is a bit unfortunate, having seen the recent demise of two previous tenants, Three Blocks Off and the short-lived Vino Grigio. There’s a bit of deja-vu all over again, as fixtures (and even the etched glass door that stills says 3BO) remains pretty much the same.

With so few good Indian restaurants in P-town, however, the lengthy menu of mostly familiar curries, naan and tandoori may lead this reincarnation to a more permanent stay.

Less adventurous eaters get a solid introduction to the holy triumvirate of approachable Indian foods — chicken tikka masala, palak paneer (cheese in spinach) and vegetable curry at Himalayan. Dishes are well-spiced and rich with big chunks of meat and other goodies.

momo.jpgAlso worth a try are more exotic Himalayan specialties including daal and momos — soft dumplings filled with meat and vegetables. The restaurant nods to the non-ethnic-inclined lunch crowd with California-style salads and simple kabobs, as well.

Despite unfortunate cheap-o signage out front, the restaurant remains white-napkin casual inside. Prices are in line with higher-end curry houses in the region (Pamposh, Kabob and Curry and Sizzling Tandoor come to mind) with most meat entrees hitting the $10-$13 range. In the early weeks, service is still spotty, ranging from slow to doting.

There’s little else to complain about, however –even at a table of serious eaters. Seems this location’s karma is about to change.

Himalayan Kabob and Curry House, 220 Western Ave., Petaluma, 707.775.4717.

PS. BiteClub hears that Star of India in the McDowell shopping center has closed, to be replaced by a new Indian eatery. LMK if you know more.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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18 Comments

  1. P-Town is as rude as calling San Francisco “Frisco.” Have some respect.

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  2. I secnod Mr. E on Yeti in Glen Ellen….great food and wonderfulstaff/family who own it…..difinitely worth the drive….but will try the P…TOWN Indian cuisine next time over in your part of the country…

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  3. We had a similar experience to Rhizomorph with regards to the service. It was authentically Indian, but not in a good way…
    Line out the door on a cold Saturday night with nobody playing host, no list being taken, new people arriving all the time confused about the system (or lack there of), who came first, etc. They don’t take reservations for less than 5–we tried! They may have been overwhelmed by the crowd but they need to get that situation sorted out soon or it won’t matter how good the food is.
    Waiting area is minuscule, and they would be well served to follow the example of some of their predecessors, lose a two top and create more space to wait especially during the winter months. 3BO had a nice little lounge space carved out where you could wait for a table with a drink…they don’t need to devote that much space but they should find a happy medium if they aren’t going to take reservations.
    Wait aside, when we finally got the food it was quite good. Portions on the curry were a bit small relative to the price points, but everything was obviously prepared with care. If they get the service side of the equation worked out they should do well.

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  4. I really enjoyed my dinner, was a little pricier than other indian style restaurants, a few doors down is chopstix, very good chinese.

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  5. Tasty authentic Indian is hard to find so i’m looking forward to following up on your lead. Amist all these fabulous restaurant mentions, I cannot believe you left out Annapurnas in Santa Rosa though. Technically, it is Nepalese, but since the majority of people here have never even been to India they’ll never know the difference. And it is the best curry i’ve ever tried outside dusty Asian courties.

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  6. When you start hearing people who actually live and work in Petaluma calling it “Pee=Town”, then, perhaps it will be acceptable.
    Until then, the city’s full and proper name will do. If you want to be a catchy little ad writer, go work for an advertising agency. As it is, this blog is part of (what used to be) a serious and respected news organization.

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  7. *P-town* is acceptable (and my preferred) slang for Petaluma, and I use it all the time. *Luma* also works.
    And when a good rock band is playing, well, we’ve been calling the town *METALuma* since the eighties.

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  8. Come on. I think its catchy. One can only write “Petaluma” so many times. Egg-town? Butter ‘n Egg Ville, The P-zah. Give me something else and I’ll use it. And, don’t call me middle aged. My wrinkles don’t appreciate it.

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  9. Yeah, tell me about it… If only Heather knew how foolish she sounds by calling it Pee town.. you’d think she grew up on the streets of Oakland.Maybe it’s the middle aged women rapper fantasy :)

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  10. P-town already.
    We don’t call it P-Town and the Pee Dee shouldn’t either.
    And I was waiting for a review of the Denny’s freebie breakfast.
    Where were you, Bite Club?

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  11. We went there for dinner last night, food was awesome. They even give you a choice between white or brown rice, I really appreciated that. The food was really good and even my 10 year old daughter ate every bite on her plate and referred to the lentil soup as “heaven”. She was the only kid in there. The place was full, and there was always someone at the door, but wait time never seemed to be more than 5 minutes. I was impressed with the food, and would definitely go back for the more!

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  12. We went there last Saturday for lunch. We thought that we got our money’s worth for the lunch specials. They also have a children’s menu and it was mild enough that my 4-year old ate it all up (well, mom and dad gladly helped). They did mess up our bill, so I’m hoping my husband forgives them so we can go back soon.

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  13. I have had a great meal tonight at Himalayan kabob and curry house. i have no words to explain their food and service. i visit to indian restaurant a lot but this new restaurant kicks everyone butts..please try their fresh lamb curries and chicken tika masala…just thiking of it..i am hungry for that place again.

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  14. BEST INDIAN FOOD IS IN GLEN ELLEN YETI, definitly worth the drive. Yummy yummy!

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  15. Went there for dinner the other night. The food was indisputably excellent, but the pre-seating service (crowd management) was nonexistent—they were completely overwhelmed by the number of people coming in the door. This is understandable for a brand-new restaurant I guess, but I sure hope they quickly figure out how to improve in that area.
    They were even confused about whether or not they were taking names of parties for seating (head waitress said they were, manager guy said they weren’t, which angered some people who had given their names to the lady).
    It’s not very often you see a restaurant that has barely opened being swamped with customers. To me it shows how desperate Petalumans are for good dining.
    I also have high hopes for Masala Express. They certainly have their templates for quality to match (their competition, in other words) well cut out for them!

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  16. Can’t wait to try as well as Namaste is the only place in town left for Indian food. Thank goodness it’s fantastic food. I’m there at least once a week. There’s also a new place opening up where Star of India used to be called, Masala Express.

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  17. I’m so excited! The only other good, fresh and easy Indian place in Petaluma is Namaste and that’s across town. I love it, but I rarely get over there…
    Here’s hoping the new one pans out : )

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  18. can’t wait to check this place out!

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