ARTESIA, Calif. — The third branch of Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine opened here in Artesia’s Little India district in early October, making it the first-ever Nepali restaurant in an ethnic enclave dominated by Indian restaurants.
The restaurant is described as serving authentic Nepali and Himalayan cuisine using natural raw materials, locally sourced vegetables and spices imported directly from Nepal.
Tara Black, a Nepal native, opened her first Himalayan restaurant 12 years ago in Culver City. The second dining room of Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine turned on its lights near the University of Southern California about 10 years later. Black decided 2015 was a ripe time to bring a taste of Nepal to one of the most popular Indian neighborhoods in Southern California.
“I wanted to introduce Nepali food to the Indian community,” Black told India-West about an hour before the restaurant opened for dinner during its first full weekend of operation. “I want to share my culture with the people of this area.”
Patrons who visit the Little India chapter of Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine can only enjoy a dinner menu for the time being, complete with live music and a wide range of foods prepared specifically for each diner’s palate. Each dish is prepared from mild to spicy and everything in between, depending on the customer’s specific tastes.
Black, who came to the United States from Nepal in 1994, said Nepali food is very similar to Indian cuisine, but there are some subtle differences.
“Both are very similar foods, but the flavor is a little different. The spices are different,” Black said, adding the menu in Artesia will feature more Indian themes than the restaurants in Culver City and Los Angeles.
One of those different dishes is Yak Chili, which features meat from a cattle species closely related to bison. A server at Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine explained that yaks are found in higher elevations in the Himalayas and produce very lean beef.
Dumplings are also a popular Nepali dish, Black said.
Other items on the restaurant’s menu include Thukpa Sherpa’s Stew (broth with vegetables, meat, spices and noodles), Chana Sadeko (garbanzo beans with onions, tomatoes, green chili and lemon), Chow Chow (stir-fry noodles), Pokhareli Chicken (sautéed chicken with coriander and mango powder), Garlic Tofu and Daal Bhat Tarkari (lentil beans, rice, choice of vegetables).
Side orders generally run about $3 each; while soups, salads and main dishes range from $4 to $14; appetizers are between $3 and $7.
Tara’s Himalayan Cuisine is located at 17221 Artesia Blvd. in Artesia; the Artesia location is available for private parties and offers catering.
The Little India location is open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 5 p.m. to 12 midnight Friday through Sunday. More information on the restaurant can be found online at www.tarashimalayancuisine.com; customers can also call at (562) 860-4608.