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Tibetan/Nepali roundup in Jackson Heights?

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pagal Mar 5, 2011 11:05 AM

I've been noticing that there are quite a few Tibetan/Tibetan-Nepali/Himalayan places in Jackson Heights these days. The only one I've been to is Himalayan Yak (and I'm not sure it still exists). Will be heading out there for dinner tonight. Any lists or advice on places to check out?

Will be with my mother and my sister, so my mother will probably be looking for more of a sit-down type place. I'd be interesting in hearing about more fast foody places as well, though, I can just keep them in mind for future visits...

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Himalayan Yak
72-20 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

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  1. w
    Widmark RE: pagal Mar 5, 2011 10:39 PM

    Went back to Mustang Thakali Kitchen for the first time in ages after having one 3 times when it first opened. It was amazing. Veggie momos with 3 condiments. The soup with the broad noodles with tons of vinegar and whatever poured in. Pickeled veggies. And I had this dry beef dish what was basically like a jerky. It was super hard on the teeth but incredibly tasty. Nice place, nice people, interesting food. Definitely a nice sit-down place.

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    Mustang Thakali Kitchen
    74-14 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

    3 Replies
    1. re: Widmark
      lambretta76 RE: Widmark Mar 7, 2011 06:48 AM

      Hit there Saturday night as well -- first time in JH in way too long. MTK was quite nice, tasty goat thali and veggie momos. (The spicy sesame? sauce was amazing.) I feel I ordered too conservatively and would like to go with a group to try more dishes. Agree that the staff is friendly and attentive, somewhat of a rarity (at least for me) in JH.

      1. re: lambretta76
        UnitedNationsOfFood RE: lambretta76 Mar 8, 2011 04:59 PM

        I went to Mustang Thakali last week, and completely agree that the service is surprisingly awesome. We ordered thalis, and the waiter took the time to explain everything on the platters... with a pretty goofy sense of humor, telling us that the red hot sauce was "a tomato." Hilarious.

        We probably screwed up with the momos--we ordered momo soup, and the broth drowned out the flavor of the dumplings, so I can't really give an honest assessment of the momos themselves. The thalis were great, though--ghundruk (mushroom) and farsee goat (in pumpkin sauce) were wonderful if you're into that sort of thing. But really, who doesn't love goat?

        1. re: UnitedNationsOfFood
          CitySpoonful RE: UnitedNationsOfFood Apr 13, 2011 03:52 PM

          Second the goat thali and the momos (ours were ground chicken with a distinctly Indian flavor -- delicious)!

          Our waiter was also very helpful in educating us about the menu and the dishes we tried. In fact, we left the ordering to him and left totally satisfied. (full details of our meal and photos at: http://www.cityspoonful.com/mustang-t...

          )

          In short: Where else can you have Indian chaat and Asian-ish dumplings (i.e., momos) under one roof?

          Curious to check out the other, smaller Nepali places along 37th Road. Seen some awesome-looking cooked mustard greens and homemade achars (pickles) in a few of those little Nepali restaurants (one in particular -- with the ordering counter downstairs and the eating area upstairs).

    2. Jeffsayyes RE: pagal Mar 6, 2011 08:37 PM

      Shangri-la express - not terrible at all, though most of the stuff is just reheated as are most places. all have good dumplings, including this one. Don't utilize much of the kitchen from my experience. It's a great place to hang out though, i could spend an hour at the window just watching people walk by.
      Merit back side - might be named sagamartha... affiliated with the tibetan place that is probably not getting much business out on like 64th st and roosevelt. they do use their kitchen quite a bit for noodles and soups. This place is probably the most crowded tibetan casual place, it helps that it might be open 24 hours.
      Shangri-la - it extends from 37th rd to roosevelt ave. this place is interesting. the roosevelt side is more formal and frequently has parties. the front on 37th ave is probably my favorite tibetan place. Excellent thentuck - shaved noodle soup. they have an active kitchen and not many things are sitting in the steam table getting stale.
      Lali guras is another active kitchen. not sure what they specialize in, but they got new seating not long ago. pretty popular place. I don't think they sell chinese food, but there are pictures there that says they do.

      bhim cafe is an interesting place, but it could be only because the dining room is on the 2nd story. I've always wanted it to succeed, but have only been pleased with the food. the staff, however, are lovely. Not sure what they specialize in, but a thali plate should probably be ordered. the thali plates are good sampler platters. momos are good to great at all these places and are ordered frequently by real live tibetans, but aren't adventurous.. they're just dumplings.

      for your mother and sister, if they are okay with sitting in places that have the ambiance of nothing and the taste of good food, try lali guras and get a thali plate - or shangri-la and get the soups. bhim is also a good experience though. If my mom was coming here... I'd take her to bhim or shangri-la 37th rd.

      oh, now we have himalayan hut on 37th ave. it's desi style tibetan. something like that. Not exactly sure how to define it other than saying yeah it's pretty damn good. It's in the former deshi biryani.

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      Merit Kabab Palace
      37-67 74th St, Queens, NY 11372

      Bhim's Cafe
      74-10 37th Rd, Queens, NY 11372

      Shangri-La Express
      7224 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11372

      Himalayan Hut
      75-18 37th Ave, Queens, NY 11372

      8 Replies
      1. re: Jeffsayyes
        Joe MacBu RE: Jeffsayyes Mar 8, 2011 07:54 AM

        Lali Guras has very good chicken momos (they have beef as well, but I find it to be dry). Most folks order a Nepali thali, which comes with free refills. It's also a good place to get spicy fried organ meats, like gizzard, stomach, etc.

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        Lali Guras
        37-63 76th St, Queens, NY 11372

        1. re: Jeffsayyes
          Polecat RE: Jeffsayyes Apr 13, 2011 04:05 PM

          "...though most of the stuff is just reheated as are most places..."
          Which menu items are you speaking of? The behind glass items? In my visits, I've had thenduk and momos. The orders take a good 15 to 20 minutes to come out, and I see the chef at work on my order, so not sure what you mean. I agree that it's a great place to hang out. The bustle of Roosevelt Ave to one side, Tibetan music videos on the other. I also dig their sweet milk tea w/ cardomon - my favorite in the area.
          P.

          1. re: Polecat
            Jeffsayyes RE: Polecat Apr 13, 2011 07:25 PM

            under the glass is a bunch of dishes like chili chicken, curry chicken, tripe, sausage, whatever else. the momos arent under the glass, and they make the soups live, you're right there. where you order from, look down.

            My fav place is the newly renamed, former shangri la. thenthuck baby. they have a new menu, no descriptions though. will need more research.

            1. re: Jeffsayyes
              Polecat RE: Jeffsayyes Apr 14, 2011 05:49 AM

              This is what I figured you meant. What are the deep golden fried rings I've seen behind glass there? They look like something you could just as easily play ring toss with as well as eating it.

              Also, there's a brand new Tibetan full service joint right across Roosevelt. Haven't tried it yet, the SL Express affords a view of the crazy brave who enter and leave.

              P.

              1. re: Polecat
                Joe MacBu RE: Polecat Apr 14, 2011 09:32 AM

                Those rings sound like sel roti. It's a deep-fried batter of rice flour and banana.

                There's also a newish Nepali place on 64-03 Roosevelt. Actually, it's a Nepali-IndoChinese-Mexican place. Mother's Kitchen/La Cocina de Mama.

                1. re: Joe MacBu
                  Jeffsayyes RE: Joe MacBu Apr 14, 2011 12:56 PM

                  and another new one on 37th rd. off 73rd st. this one is upstairs.

                  I think that 64-03, is that the one that was a mexican place before? that menu has serious ADD.and the tables inside are too big for the space. was it frontera? how can they make it?

                  there has to be a name for this area. Himalayan heights? Tibetan Row? The Yak Track?

                  1. re: Jeffsayyes
                    Joe MacBu RE: Jeffsayyes Apr 14, 2011 02:26 PM

                    Yeah, that place used to be a Mexican-only place. The new owner is Nepali. I asked him why the hell they had a full blown Mexican menu - he replied it was because the former restaurant was Mexican, so they wanted to still have those items in case former patrons stopped by. Yes, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard this week. He assured me that they have a different 'professional chef' for each cuisine. That makes me worried for their survival. The prices look good, so I might check out the food soon. At least the Asian stuff - they even have a "mescaline salad".

                    1. re: Joe MacBu
                      w
                      Widmark RE: Joe MacBu Apr 15, 2011 07:14 PM

                      Been wondering about that place. Also Katmandu Spice on Woodside Ave by 61st st, space that was Tibetan and Brazilian and went under is now Nepali and Japanese. And even Masala, the indian place on 61st st near the trains which I never particulary liked has a flyer up saying they're serving Nepali dishes.

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                      Masala
                      39-26 61st St, Queens, NY 11377

                      Katmandu Spice
                      60-15 Woodside Ave, Queens, NY 11377

        2. driggs RE: pagal Mar 7, 2011 06:59 AM

          K & M Merit, at 37-67 74th street.

          The front is an average Pakistani place, but in the back is much better Tibetan food. Its always crowded and I am pretty sure open 24 hrs.

          A plus is its right across the street from this great Sari store
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/arnade/5...

          1. p
            punto RE: pagal Mar 8, 2011 07:05 AM

            I meant to reply to this thread with a mention of Yeti of Hieizan, but somehow ended up adding to the thread "Latest on Himalayan food in/near Jackson Heights?". Rather than repeat myself here, I'm just referring you all to that posting.

            Oops.

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            Yeti of Hieizan
            43-16 Queens Blvd, Queens, NY 11104

            1. Joe MacBu RE: pagal Apr 13, 2011 04:39 PM

              By the way, it's Nepali New Year today.

              1. f
                foodie1017 RE: pagal Apr 13, 2011 06:55 PM

                Would you say the Tibetan restaurants are better in Jackson Hts/Elmhurst or Manhattan?

                1. w
                  Widmark RE: pagal Apr 15, 2011 07:18 PM

                  I almost want to take back my earlier positive reviews! Went back not long after the time mentioned above and got the dried beef dish again and while I enjoyed it, something was way off and it wasn't spicy. When I got the check, under the name of the dish it had typed up "NO SPC". I called over the waitress to ask about it and told that they made it not spicy because usually "people...from other places", as she so delicately put it, don't like spicy food. I told her I had had the same dish a few weeks before and loved it so much I came back for it, but it was better the first time!

                  Here's my suggestion. We come up with a petition stating that restaurants should cook food the way they think it should be served, and if they think it's going to be too spicy or too sour or whatever they're welcome to suggest changing it, but at least give us the option of having the food as it's intended!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Widmark
                    Jeffsayyes RE: Widmark Apr 16, 2011 03:41 PM

                    that sucks. yes, we need a card to say give it to us like you like it.

                    I went to lali guras today and had a great meal. The momos were almost like soup dumplings, lots of juice in there. and had a meat thali plate. they refill your plate as much as you want, great mutton in there.

                    1. re: Jeffsayyes
                      e
                      ebird RE: Jeffsayyes May 16, 2011 11:29 AM

                      Went to Lali Guras today and got a veggie thali to go -- a huge platter, with rice, some greens, something pickled, a curry (I'm not even sure what was in there, potatoes and maybe eggplant? gourd?), dal. It was delicious and huge.

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                      Lali Guras
                      37-63 76th St, Queens, NY 11372

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