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Aug 18, 2014 10:23 PM

Yongewa Kitchen - Tibetan and Chinese in Cotati [Sonoma County]

Detouring off 101 through the surface streets of downtown Cotati, I’d noticed the Tibetan mandala on the façade of Yongewa Kitchen. I returned shortly after to try it. At dinner, it was deserted, giving me a chance to chat with the affable host/owner. Previously he had owned a restaurant in Nepal. His sister is the cook and the one who had brought the family to the area when she worked for a Chinese restaurant. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, a free glass of Taylor Country Cellars house wine is included with dinner.

The menu has mostly Chinese food with a small section highlighting five Tibetan specialties. I knocked off two in one swoop.

Sha Momo ($7.50 for six) – Tibetan-style momos are bready. These were akin to baozi, filled with ground pork seasoned with ginger and scallions. A vegetable version is also available. The cake-like bread wrapper is light and fluffy. Steamed to order, they’re pretty juicy (read “fatty”) and comforting. I liked them dunked in chile oil. I commented to the owner that these were just about identical to Northern Chinese versions and he replied that Tibet is part of China.

Beef Then Thuk ($9.50) – My first experience with Tibet’s handmade noodles. A staffer said the pasta dough is stretched by hand then the noodles are torn. I really liked the rough hewn texture and dense chewiness. The noodles were served in beef stock with a clumsy array of celery, broccoli and carrots and strips of very tough beef. I would like to have these noodles again and will be asking if other preps might be available.

Yongewa Kitchen
8204 Old Redwood Hwy
Cotati, CA 94931
(707) 664-1418

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  1. I should have known that you'd been here already too!

    I noticed the sign last week when across the street... asked the bartender about it and they said they preferred Panda Express!?!?!

    The dumplings look great. I'll have to drop in next time I'm having a "cheat day" and try them out.

    PS. I live about a mile from downtown Cotati these days. I'll have to search the board and share a few of my finds with everyone...

    1 Reply
    1. re: jpatrick72

      Based on the noodle dish's knifework and the texture of beef (sliced with the grain, overcooked), I can imagine that Panda Express is better on many fronts. Yet, the other Tibetan dish that sounded interesting to me is Sha Dare, made with cellophane noodles and pork. Also the owner highly recommended the housemade pot stickers. Let us know!

    2. This is as improbable as they come. Any idea why they settled on that location?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chandavkl

        I asked. Inexpensive rent.

        Also Sonoma County has more Nepali restaurants than the rest of the Bay Area combined. Maybe Tibetans felt they could make a go of it here.

      2. Swung by tonight for some take out... ended up with the vegetable versions of what Melanie had (Tse Momo) and the home made potstickers.

        We both enjoyed the Tse Momo. They reminded me of steamed vegetable buns from a the little vegetarian Chinese food place in the SGV from years ago. Nice, light, and flavorful. A bit bland and could have used a touch of salt, but over-all good.

        We weren't so lucky with the potstickers. They were pretty one-dimensional in flavor, pork. Hard for any flavors to get past that. A bit juicy which was nice, but the filling didn't do the wrapper any justice.

        In fact, we ended up throwing out the last one, it was that bad.

        Those two items ended up costing $19 with tip... probably won't be back to try anything else.

        Next time, Tiny Thai.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jpatrick72

          Tiny Thai had the most inauthentic Thai food I've ever had(and there's lots of competition here in Sonoma county). Everything had sugar in it, so the balance of seasoning was way off.

          1. re: jpatrick72

            I wouldn't be in a hurry to try Tiny Thai. I thought it was the most inauthentic Thai food I've ever had. Way, way too much sugar in every single dish!

          2. If you liked the torn noodles you should keep an eye out for Korean Sujebi

            1. Closed. Replaced by St@x Social Eatery presumably not Chinese or Tibetan