By Laura Stec
Local Flavor – South Asian Takeout EditionUploaded: Apr 30, 2020
Six weeks ago-ish, we sat down to Food Party! about two local eateries. It was the second week of COVID though, and reality hit quick that folks wouldn’t be heading to restaurants anytime soon. Fast forward now, and here we all are at #Sequesterday48 with the next realization that it’s time to go there anyways. We gotta shake this up people. Another month of inside (!?) - it’s time to stretch those creative juices, plan a new adventure, go somewhere you haven't been, and live with bright intention. Don’t waste this moment just doing stuff you've always done.
Walk into ROOH in downtown Palo Alto to experience a classic Indian home with mango trees at the entrance and old photos on the walls, but know that tradition fades quickly. Incorporating conventional cuisine with a modern flair, ROOH surprises with new ways of looking at old dishes. I would never have thought of ROOH for takeout. They've got that au courant, wanna-be-there, vibe going on. But still, a little interesting take out could set up a whole new weekend. Spice up yours with something fun and different.
So go online, stop at the bar menu first, and order a Whistle Podu ($13). This blend of old and new reconstructs Rasem, a traditional, south Indian stew of tamarind, chili pepper, black pepper and cumin into a unique cocktail with zip.
Make sure to try the Kulcha for a new take on Indian flatbread. Commonly stuffed with potato and spices, ROOH transforms the dish into puffed nibbles of creamy goat cheese and green pea that will make you melt. ($15)
Times Chef of the Year (India), ROOH executive chef Sujan Sarkar rocks - we just have to say that, and also that he adapted his own new-style cuisine into the next sign of the times. Many things we tasted are not currently on the to-go menu. Still, there are plenty of options for plant-forward folks and meat eaters, and I really enjoyed the sauces and condiments. Here’s some dishes:
Owner Anu Bhambri (former Microsoft engineer) describes it as a cuisine with flavor blasters. "You should get layers of flavor while eating, not just one taste all at the same time."
New Everest Cuisine
This Mountain View gem is in a category of its own. You gotta meet owner Anil Pandey - what a kick! A whirlwind entrepreneur - Pandey is everywhere. If not helping with earthquake relief overseas, or Motherland Nepal, his educational nonprofit, he's back here making traditional Titanic Momos, while proudly and repeatedly proclaiming with a big smile “we sell lots of these.”
Titanic Jhol Momos, a Nepalese dumpling of cabbage, bean, carrot and panner ($14)
Now, I know why.
Snuggled between Highways 85 and 101, you might pass the restaurant by, but please don’t any longer. It's fusion-style Nepalese + Indian fare is the type you buy lots of, and eat off all week. Perfect sequester-fare. Like Rooh, celebrate unique flavors that explode in your mouth, and wake-up your tastebuds from shut-in status.
The menu abounds with plant-forward and meat options from Chef Sagar like Chicken Jalfrazi, Okra Tawa Fry, Mushroom Mutter, Special Chicken Coconut,
Fried Artichoke Pakora with cilantro chutney ($7)
Millionaire Naan with flaky, crispy layers that peel away ($6)
Curries and tandooris($11 - 12)
And warm Carrot Halva with milk and raisin for dessert ($3.99)
Go for lunch pickup, but take a side stop at Midwife and the Baker beforehand for a scone and coffee.
When restrictions ease up maybe we can eat at the outdoor patio?
And hey - this is the latest opened restaurant I know of on the Peninsula (no kidding: 1AM many nights, and certainly when Google is in session.) Call ahead to confirm times these days.
Want to make it a Dinner and a Movie weekend?
Try pairing your new found restaurant besties with Bend It Like Beckham, Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, or Treking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal
473 University Ave, Palo Alto
Tuesday – Sunday: 4 PM – 8 PM
New Everest Cuisine
425 North Whisman Road #100, Mountain View
Monday - Friday: 11AM - 3PM & 5PM-1AM
Don’t forget your mask when picking up.
Mt Everest photo by Wikopedia.
The rest by LSIC
Insider Tip #4
Sprouted Lentils - next week
Soak yours today!