According to their own narrative, Little Nepal, located on the corner of Mission St and Courtland Ave, is “proudly the first Nepali restaurant in San Francisco”. Geographically, Nepal’s regional territories stretches from the Southern part of India toward the Northern part of Tibet. In which, Nepalese cultural and ethnic cuisines are strongly influenced by religious elements inherited from Hinduism and Buddhism. Nepal is considered a Hindu State with nearly 80% of the population are Hinduist. 10% of the population practices Buddhism. Consequently, vegetarian diet is adopted early in Nepalese and Himalayan civilization and therefore is widely manifested until today. For instant, since Hindus worship cow as a spiritual animal, Nepalese preferred lamb over beef when it comes to red meat.
Little Nepal offers a good selection of drinks. According to the owner here, Chai Tea or Chai Latte, is a common refreshment in Nepal and that she would enjoy drinking it three times a day. Due to geographical climate, Nepalese prefers various type of hot tea instead of coffee. The Chai Latte was delicious. I prefer it without sugar just so I could separately taste the sense of spice, the fat of dairy and the bitterness of tea as they all combined.
My first choice was a famous veggie dumpling appetizer called Himalayan Momo. In my opinion, Little Nepal could be considered a sweet spot for vegan for its menu, with no doubt, is abundant with vegetarian options such as curry and stir fried. Meat lovers, don’t be discourage for although Vegan Diet is greatly appreciated in Little Nepal, they do include various delicious dishes that made out of Chicken, lamp and salmon.
My main course was Alu Tama Bodi, a vegetable curry with a side of rice and Butter Naan bread. It was made out of potato, black-eyed beans, and bamboo shoot that were slowly cooked with fresh tomato, garlic, ginger and spice.Little Nepal’s dishes incorporate the use of spices into their cooking technique that delicately add a warm and provocative shade of color into their presentation.
Through historical context, rice is treated as main staple in most of Asian countries. Nepal was no different, even though their types of rice has different form and taste. Little Nepal serves authentic Basmati Rice which shapes longer and taste drier compared to those of South East Asia. Beside rice, Nepalese Butter Naan bread is commonly serve as side. Don’t be shy to use your hand to wrap the soft and chewy Naan Bread with curry as you discover how well they incorporate one another. I really much enjoy the differences with an opened mind. Although the spices were too strong to my liking, I love how my main dish was healthy and crunchy with a unique combination of vegetable.
Evidently, there are significant initiation of Himalayan and Nepalese religious, ethnic and cultural pride embedded within this little restaurant’s decoration, service, and atmosphere. Little Nepal should be an interesting and unique experience for those who are curious about these cuisines from an intercultural perspective.
925 Cortland Ave ♥ San Francisco ♥ CA 94110 ♥ (415) 643-3881
Business Hours: Dinner: 4:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday - Sunday
Closed on Monday