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Tibet on Houston?

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steve d. Jun 30, 1999 03:49 PM

Has anybody tried this place? Asimov makes it sound appealing, but every time I've tried Tibetan food (at increasingly lengthy intervals) -- most notably in NY and Paris, but also, as I recall, in Taiwan -- it's been bland and boring, and I'm reluctant to venture in again without enthusiastic recommendations from actual chowhounds. (Nothing against Eric, but I suspect reviewers are pretty much forced to be a little more enthusiastic in general than the actual food they eat might warrant -- after all, if the majority of their reviews ranged from "Not worth spending money on" to "Not too bad, kind of... ekh...," who would want to read them, and how long would papers keep paying their salaries?)

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    Gary Cheong RE: steve d. Jun 30, 1999 04:02 PM

    I feel the same way as you, Steve. I've never had any
    Tibetan food that I thought was good (at least to
    me). It may be authentic, but it's sure boring to me.

    I tried the one on Second Ave. near 6th Street a few
    months back. Pretty lousy too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Gary Cheong
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      Trip Kirkpatrick RE: Gary Cheong Jul 1, 1999 09:57 AM

      "I tried the one on Second Ave. near 6th Street a few
      months back. Pretty lousy too."

      I assume you mean Lhasa. I assume because I blocked
      that experience out of my memory, mostly. We waited a
      good 45 minutes to be served, and the food was good
      but didn't taste as good as it could have if the wait
      had been shorter.

      However. The high point of that evening wa the
      dessert, a pasta with a sweet sauce and nuts (am I
      remembering correctly?) that I found fabulous and
      would love to hear whether I could find it even better
      elsewhere.

      On a related note, you might try Tsampa on 9th at
      Stuyvesant. I've been there a couple times and like it
      very much. Yes, the food is mild, but the good dishes
      are complex. I'd give the names, but my memory for
      Tibetan-language dish names is a sieve. Though one
      thing I do remember: the Bhutanese chicken was tasty,
      and loaded with onions. Butter and salt tea was good,
      and the momos were serviceable.

      1. re: Trip Kirkpatrick
        a
        Allan Evans RE: Trip Kirkpatrick Jul 1, 1999 01:09 PM

        My Italian wife ate Tibetan meals in the pre-Himalayas
        near Chandigarh and recalled the exquisite subtlety and
        novel ingredients. Without yak products, it's like
        using Philadelphia cream cheese in place of mozzarella
        di bufala.

        1. re: Allan Evans
          l
          Lobelia RE: Allan Evans Jul 5, 1999 10:24 PM

          I find the mildness of Tibetan food appealing. About a
          month ago we ate at theÊTibetan restaurant (Tibet
          Shambala?) on Amsterdam at about 84th St. My sons
          ordered desserts--one was described as pasta with
          parmesan cheese, which was very (and pleasingly) mildly
          sweet and not at all parmesany. I think it also had
          bananas--or maybe the other dessert, an again agreeably
          slightly sweet, rice pudding had the bananas. Very
          refreshing compared to the overly sweet and rich (and
          expensive) desserts soÊcommonly available.

        2. re: Trip Kirkpatrick
          g
          Gary Cheong RE: Trip Kirkpatrick Jul 1, 1999 06:10 PM

          Yeah, Llhasa ... that's the one. Well, at least you
          remembered the name.

          I grew up eating vibrant, exciting
          Malaysian/Singaporean food, which I think is so much
          superior. Don't think I'll find Tibetan food exciting
          for me.

      2. a
        andrew reibman RE: steve d. Feb 17, 2000 02:55 PM

        we ate there tuesday night and were pleased. (We had just seen the Cup at the Angelika, so how could we skip a Tibetan dinner.) Service was attentive but not pushy - helpful too - the owner came over to answer our questions about the wallpaper and recommend food. Atmosphere was pleasant.

        We had a delicious "Khatmandu potato" appetizer. Potatoes fried and rolled in a sauce with fenugreek?, mustard seed?, sesame seed, and lemon juice. Very tasty - reminds you of some Indiant dishes but much different.

        We had some dumplings - the meat dumplings were not wonderful - supposedly with basil - but not very flavorful, but the vegetarian dumplings were excellent.

        We had a dish of stewed lamb with daikon radish and red pepper. Not particularly spicy, but tasty.

        Very interesting was a steamed bread with anise? or some similar spice...fenugreek maybe. A different take on a chinese steam-bread. Seemed to have a higher fat content to - perhaps there was butter in it.

        Dessert was wonderful. A fried cheese and barley sweet with a milk caramel on it. Tasted a bit like a cheese danish - very buttery...

        It was not bargain priced, but not outrageous - our bill was $33 - although we easily could have spent 50 if my other half were a real eater... It is basically Soho after all, so what do you expect...

        I wouldn't say it was fantastic, but it was good.
        I will definitely go back... There were a number of things on the menu I'd like to try.

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