I had already planned to meet some friends at Himalaya for dinner on Wednesday when I decided to see what the Fearless Critic had to say about it. I had read the review before (it received an A), but had completely forgotten about this part:
"If you do not want to know what your dining companions look like when they have sex, we suggest not bringing them here, because after they take a bite of any of the masalas, biryanis, or naans, you're definitely going to see their O face."
My two "dining companions" were old friends from high school, and I didn’t especially want to see what they looked like mid-dibity. One of them is married, after all, and the other I've known since age 12. What would Jerry Seinfeld do? I am intrigued.
I walk in the door to a stark white, well lit room, scattered with tables and chairs. A sign directs me to the corner, where the menu hangs on the wall near a well-loved cash register. This restaurant has no sexual appeal. Like, at all. I will be fine. I find a table and wait for my friends, who soon arrive.
As the owner approaches to take our order, he scrunches his eyebrows for a minute before telling me that I bear a striking resemblance to Cheryl Ladd from Charlie’s Angels. This place rules, I think to myself as I place our order: Chicken tikka masala, naan, and "two other dishes that you think are the best."
Mere minutes later we're staring down a plate of hot samosas. I bite into one with a satisfying crunch, but the lamb inside is dry. The cardamom sauce helps, but next time I'll try the vegetable samosas.
Before we can finish our appetizer, out come the mains. The pumpkin-colored tikka masala is flavorful and rich, with tender pieces of chicken swimming in a spicy masala bath. Delicious. I use my piece of naan to scrape the sauce off my plate, not willing to waste a single cell. The other dish, lamb biryani, is a gigantic plate of rice interlaced with aromatic spices and tender chunks of lamb. While it may look plain, a first taste reveals surprisingly complex flavors. Soon I realize that I am too busy devouring my meal to notice what my friends’ faces look like, nor do I worry about how my own appears.
At times like this there’s only one thing to do. Throw caution to the wind and keep going.
Himalaya – 6652 Southwest Freeway (at Hillcroft)