Tara's Himalayan Cuisine

Los Angeles, California


rating star

We ate here for the first time last night, and this restaurant was a real find. The atmosphere was homey, cheery and bright, and from what we can tell (after asking the waiter what was vegan), much of the vegetarian menu is vegan, as are several appetizers. Everything was delicious and so affordable!

We were served a complimentary papadum (lentil flour wafer with cumin seeds) with a tomato-based dipping sauce. Both tasty. Then we got the potato achaar appetizer -- a kind of cold potato salad made with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, chilies, fenugreek, garlic and potatoes of course, and served on a cabbage leaf topped with sliced tomatoes. Delicious!

We shared a lentil and chickpea soup that was also very good, and followed that up with our entrees, the Aloo Bodi Tama (described on the menu as "Bamboo shoots, potato and black-eyed peas cooked with Himalayan spices" and the Vegetable Korma, which is completely vegan, made with a cashew-based curry and coconut-based cream. The Vegetable Korma was quite different from the Indian dish of the same name, and more eastern in its flavor, but yummy nonetheless. The Aloo Bodi Tama was equally enjoyable. The entrees were serve with white basmati rice. Most amazing were the prices, $6.99 for the Vegetable Korma and $5.99 for the Aloo Bodi Tama. Almost unheard of for Los Angeles!

Everything we had was vegan, including the bread we ordered on special request. Since the onion naan was not vegan, we asked if we could have an onion roti. Roti (whole wheat flatbread) is not typically made with onion, but the owner was very accomodating and made it as we asked. It too, was quite good.

The entire dinner for two came to $35 including tax and tip. Where else in Los Angeles can you order so much great food and end up spending so little? We plan to do our share to support this wonderful little place since we definitely want it to stay in business.

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rating star

Tara's is a middling Nepalese restaurant with decent, but unremarkable food. We started off with some "aloo achaar" ($4) which sounded delicious in theory (potatoes with a mix of spices) but it was basically a cold potato salad. It was bland and under-seasoned; imagine eating cold pieces of potato and you get the idea.

For our main dishes we got the daal ($7), mustard greens ($7) and aloo gobi ($7.29). The daal was made with black lentils and was tasty; it's hard to mess up lentils, though. The mustard greens consisted of lightly sauteed mustard leaves and stems and little seasoning; these tasted remarkably good, but the dish was really simple and hardly constituted a main course (even though it's listed in the mains). Lastly, the aloo gobi was unmemorable.

While the prices are pretty low, the portion sizes are also tiny---each dish consisted of maybe 1/3 of what you'd get in a Chinese take-out carton, so if you want to leave feel full, make sure to order at least three dishes. You will not get leftovers.

They do offer brown rice, which is nice.

All in all, this is not a great place, but it's not a bad one either.

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