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Sep 23, 2008 06:24 PM

Karma on 6th Avenue -- Veggie Momos and more (thanks, rln)

I'd already decided it was the year of the momo for me after five different hole-in-the-wall momo moments I had by chance in New York in the Spring and then being drawn ineluctably to Chez Gatse in Montreal for a momo lunch a month later. I even joined the mo:mo group on Facebook. So when rln hinted in a post this morning that there might be momos at a tiny venue on 6th Avenue, I figured it was Karma.

Karma it was, or, rather, is. That's the name of a new restaurant: Karma. It's a tiny place, with just a service counter and one table in the corner that two people could squeeze into, so it's mostly for takeout. (There's a bench outside in front, but no outdoor tables as yet.) So far it offers only momos, two soups (noodle and lentil), a noodle salad and a green salad with feta cheese. It's (sob) Vegetarian, and (except for the feta cheese salad) Vegan. They also have cold drinks, chai and Organically grown coffee. The young storekeeper told me he is Nepali, and his partner is half Tibetan, half Nepali.

I had an order of momos (five pieces for $5.95) and a coffee The momos were a little larger than I had grown accustomed to, though they had as much air as filling inside. The filling was gently savory, but perhaps too subtle for this carnivore who thinks vegetarian dumplings means garlic chives (jiu cai); the wrapper seemed just the right thickness and texture. The young Nepali recited the composition of the filling for me but I've forgotten some of them (being of a certain age); they included mushrooms, garlic, onion, and green bean noodle that I can recall. The coffee was a nice honest roast.

And oh, yes: according to the County Clerk's Office, the owner of record is named Karma Sherpa. I kid you not.

Check it out, V people!

200 6th Avenue at Cornwall

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  1. This is quite exciting... this is my first learning of momo places. Thanks for the report! Will have to check it out.

    1. I went to Karma last night and LOVED it. Granted, I'm vegetarian, but I think non-veggies will enjoy the fresh, flavorful food, too.

      First off, Karma is small. Or perhaps petite. But there's a table for two inside and a bench outside. You can call ahead, order to go, or (gasp) eat there and chat with Tye, the personable and amazing chef.

      Between me and my date, we split three dishes. First came the momos, which are 6 for $5.95. They're made to order with a homemade curry sauce on the side (you can ask for it spicier if it's not hot enough), and boy, these were the bomb. Really. I could eat these for a week and still be wowed with every forkful. They were filled with mushrooms, tiny noodles, and who knows what else.

      We also had a bowl of the lentil soup which was thick and flavorful, perfect for these cooler fall nights! Lastly, we ended with the noodle salad with tons of vegetables, baked tofu slices, and homemade sauce. Again, made to order, and boy was it fresh!

      For these three dishes, the bill was just shy of $19. Not too pricey considering the high quality. The menu will be expanding soon, and yes, it's all vegetarian and mostly vegan.

      1. I had to give this post a late bump because I just finally made it out to Karma and was blown away. The food comes unbelievably slowly, because the young owner is making everything himself behind the counter, with care. The momos were my favorite thing, stuffed with a meat-like mix of mushrooms, noodles, onions, and a surprise ingredient: green jackfruit! "What does it look like?" I asked the owner. "It's kind of yellow, with spikes all over?" "It's not durian is it?" "No," he said, holding his hands out to show me how big it was. Have I been mistaking jackfruit for durian all this time?

        The curry sauce had a lot of cardamom, as did the lentil soup, which had peas and corn for a nice textural contrast. The noodle salad had beautiful herbs, a mix I've never tried before: dill, cilantro, parsley, and green onion. So fresh tasting! The owner said that herbs grow well in Nepal so they use a lot in their cuisine. He also said there's an herb, Jingo or Jingu, that you can't get here, and the combination of dill and cilantro approximates the flavor pretty well.

        What a find.

        2 Replies
        1. re: pointybird

          Is it all takeout of can you eat there?

          1. re: Mick Ruthven

            no, there's one tiny table, a little window seat, and a bench outside. My husband and I squeezed into the little table; I got a bit sore from the hard seat, we were there for more than an hour. Probably best to call ahead, then come in and either do takeaway or sit on the bench if it's a nice sunny day.

            Still thinking about those momos! And the niceness of the owner, very willing to chat and answer questions about the food. It was a real pleasure to sit on a day when we didn't have to rush, and watch him make every bit of our lunch right there in front of us, smell the herb scent rising through the air as he chopped. Very homey and comforting, a memorable and happy experience.

        2. link

          200 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

          1. Karma is closing. The date is TBD, but a combination of the location, lack of space, and downturn in repeat customers is forcing the owners to close. They're looking for someone to take over the (challenging) space. If you haven't tried Karma's homemade momos yet, do so, as it won't be around for much longer :(