Shangri-La

After a rather horrifying incident with yak butter tea a few years ago, I pretty much swore off any further experiences with Tibetan food. Yak can do that to a person.

A recent shout-out by a BiteClubber over my noticeable lack of Indian coverage, however, prompted me to take another look at Shangri-La, a Himalayan spot I’d actually been a little nervous about trying since it’s opening a couple years ago. Remember the yak tea?

Now, depending on who you ask, foods of the Himalayas are either closely related to Indian cuisine or, well, not related at all. It’s a matter of perspective and location, really. Things like momo-a Himalayan specialty made from minced meat or vegetables wrapped in dough (think Chinese dumplings) seem to have little to do with the creamy curries, raitas and paneer more familiar further south. Nepali staples like a hearty daal (lentil soup), however, feel right at home with their Indian brethren.

Regardless, at this busy Rohnert Park favorite, the cuisines pal around quite nicely. The menu includes house-made Nepali meat and vegetable momo, vegetarian lentil soups as well as sizzling Tandoori, samosa, curry, steaming naan (made fresh after you order, and some of the best I’ve had) and yes, even the Anglo-corrupted Tikka Masala.*

Carnivore or vegetarian, the mash-up of owner Meenakshi Sharma’s homeland foods and familiar Indian favorites makes for some pretty diverse eating. Many of the curries, samosa, momo and paneer are available without meat and baked salmon tandoori is a house specialty for fish-itarians. And, nearly everything is made fresh daily, so you won’t be getting yesterday’s leftover tandoori.

Forget about going carb-free, here. The pillowy-hot naan and flowery jasmine rice (they infuse the rice with a special blend of herbs) are absolute can’t-miss-sides. A point of pride at the restaurant is to keep the heat down (though you can request anything from mild to wild) so the subtle spices and unique flavors shine through.

Lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday from 11:30 to 3pm for $7.99, a nice value as prices for entrees and curries can get steep ($8.99 and up for curry, $13.99 and up for tandoori platters).

And thankfully, no yak butter tea.

Shangri-La Food From the Himalayas, 1706 East Cotati Ave. at Wolf Den Plaza, Rohnert Park, 707.793.0300. Closed Sunday.

* Yep, Tikka Masala is the chow mein of chicken of Indian food. Though its origins are sketchy, most agree that the creamy tomato curry didn’t originate in India, but rather somewhere in the UK. Sorry to burst your bubble. I actually love the stuff, too.


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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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the Samosas recipe. Based on my experience the real secret to making wonderful Samosas is in the way you create the patato filling. If patato filling is well prepared, half the battle is won.

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  2. Comments from an older post about this restaurant…
    Posted By: bery (02/04/2009 12:55:12 PM)
    Comment: come on people will tell anything to make your bussiness better but Indian resturant in sebastopol is the best…Everything over there is organic except the meat. Plus they showed me their food items that they use and its turns out to be right about using organic ingredients. I have tried a fish curry everywhere but himalayan curry house in sebastopol has wild salmon that is really really god..
    Posted By: ben (16/03/2009 1:13:05 PM)
    Comment: man, what happening to sangrilla…there food does not taste great no more…later,i went to himalayan resturant in sebastopol, i found out that chef had move to sebastopol, no wonder the food is good…i am sorry, but i am going to sebastpol…best curry, naan and best LENTIL SOUP!!!!
    Posted By: thomas (16/03/2009 1:08:51 PM)
    Comment: i have been dinning sangrilla for 3 years. later i heard about himalayan tandoori curry house in sebastopol, man i am hooked up in their food becuase their food are very cheap,organic veggie curries, Best nan in the world and lentil soup is off the hook. Owner is a great great person.. he gave me 10% off for my Take out…like arnold saiddelicious lentil soup and naan bread, and their curry is to die for. My personal favorite is the Chicken Palak with added mushrooms. That and some brown rice folded up in some of their oven-fresh, super yummy naan bread is some seriously good eatin’. I’ve been on the hunt for an incredible indian food place since going to England last year, and nothing I had found here had tickled my fancy at all until I found this place. My new favorite restaurant by FAR! Great price too!
    Posted By: Rachel (24/08/2007 4:55:13 PM)
    Comment: If you like this place, be sure to try Annapurna in downtown Santa Rosa. It’s been one of my favorites for years, with good vegetarian options, plus delicious samosa, pakora, soups and naan. They also have a lunch buffet.

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