What a disappointing experience. I really love Nepalese food and I prefer its subtle use of spices, and the restrained use of oil, compared to half-brother, North Indian food.
I started off with an order of bamboo soup ($5) which consisted of a few bamboo strips, potato pieces, and bits of tvp in a tangy, spicy tomato broth. The soup tasted fine, but it seemed over-priced at $5.
I had wanted an order of momos (a Tibetan/Nepalese rice dumpling delicacy) but they were unwilling to make me a half order. You can only get this dish for $8 and you get eight momos with it. Well, if you're a single diner, eight momos seems excessive.
Given that they have a lunch menu, why not offer the momos and a soup in combination with the main dish? Alas, that would be logical, and Cafe Momo has no interest in that. Or it just wants to price-gouge you.
For my main course I got the lunch edition of the mushroom curry ($10). Cafe Momo doesn't have brown rice, so I asked to substitute their "herbed flat bread" instead, as I hate white rice. They wanted to charge me for this substitution, despite it being THEIR fault for lacking in whole grain or whole wheat alternatives. Fortunately for me, they seemed to forget about this when they gave me the actual bill.
Anyway, the curry sucked. It was basically a tomato pasta sauce with some white button mushrooms dumped in. And the portion size was tiny; you could get three times as much food, for the same price, at any stripmall Chinese joint, and the Chinese dish would probably taste much better as well.The mushroom curry was not only not memorable, but it didn't seem particularly Nepalese either (I could have gotten it at any Italian restaurant). The herbed flat bread was also mediocre and become rock-hard with ten minutes of me receiving the food.
The menu on the website doesn't quite match what's given to you at the restaurant, but it's close.
The service was friendly but unhelpful in making changes. I didn't like the drab, dark atmosphere of the cafe.
All told, Cafe Momo falls short in the following areas:
-small portion sizes
-lack of labeling of vegan dishes (though most of the vegetarian dishes are vegan)
-lack of brown rice and whole wheat
-unwillingness to make substitutions
-lack of vegan items (how about some soy chai? or some coconut pudding?)
I wanted to like Cafe Momo, but I can't really recommend it. It gets two stars because the food, while mediocre, wasn't a complete disaster. Also, Cafe Momo does offer a bit of food diversity in a town that otherwise has none.