Yak and Yeti, organic Nepali in Berkeley
… has replaced Locando Olmo, on College just south of Ashby. It's been open about a week and we experienced some service glitches. They forgot to serve two of our dishes (we eventually got them). They gave a ten per cent discount on the bill, for opening week diners.
I was impressed. The food was very high quality. The menu is extensive.
Four of us shared the following:
Small bowls of delicious "Kwati soup (mixed beans)" and a Himalayan salad -- all complimentary. The soup was flavorful, well-seasoned, and hearty.
We ordered #4 appetizer "Lamb Sekuwa" ($7.95) which is also available as a main dish. Tender, succulent chunks of juicy grilled lamb, coated with a subtle spice mixture.
We had a whole-wheat roti ($2.95) which was crisp. It had a sheen of oil -- but it turned out that the "oil" was butter. We saw other kinds of rotis go by that looked more fluffy in style.
Vegetable momos ($8.95) were spicy, rich, peppery. The thick, chewy wrapper will not appeal to all, but it is typical in this cuisine -- I like it.
Chicken saag ($11.95) was unlike any Indian version I've had. It was made with bok choy, not spinach, and the bok choy was in whole pieces, not ground up. The chicken was very juicy and tender; not too spicy.
Allo Bhanta, #4 on the Vegetable menu, $10.95 (potatoes and eggplant) was excellent. The sauce was redolent of cardamom. Neither of these two dishes had the overly greasy flaw of some Indian restaurant food.
Finally we had Vegetable Thupka, listed as a "Tibetan Stew" ($9.95). This is a noodle soup, so it was hard to share. The udon-style noodles were in a tasty cinnamon-scented broth, but the real stars were the vegetables, all of which were cooked to crisp perfection: mushrooms, bok choy, snow peas, green beans, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, even a piece of fried paneer (cheese).
No corkage fee. They have a very brief wine list.
Total bill before tip (for four) was about $52 (after the 10% discount).
Yak and Yeti
2985 College Avenue (just south of Ashby)
We ate there in early June, just three days after the restaurant opened. They gave us a complimentary salad that looked like it was just greens but had a delicious, very lightly sweetened dressing. We had the samosa appetizer, which was pretty good (but not as good as Vik's), followed by a chicken dish and vegetable curry. The dishes tasted as though a lot of thought had gone into preparing them. They were very carefully flavored and tasted a lot like Indian food, only less heavy and less spicy.
We only found two things to be problematic. First, soft drinks are not served, just wine, beer and lassis. (I am a Diet Coke addict.) Second, although our server was very pleasant and smiley, she did not understand or speak English very well, making it difficult to convey what we wanted.
We were also pleasantly surprised to receive a discount. Our bill came out to $23 for two, before tip.
We ate there when it first opened. First of all, the service is very slow so it's a good thing we didn't have any other plans. It took nearly 3 hours. We ordered curry with hard boiled egg, Tibetan chicken noodle stew and vegetable momos. The curry was tasty and not greasy and the hard boiled eggs were done just right. The stew was wholesome with lots of vegetables but kind of bland. Just by itself it's enough to feed two people easy. The vegetable momos were good, not doughy like some other places and they came with a very tasty but spicy sauce. For dessert we tried their rice pudding which was the most impressive of all the things we ordered.
The servers were very nice but couldn't understand what we were saying so it was hard to find out exactly what was in each dish.
This is a nice place to go if you have 2 or 3 hours to spare.