Local Flavor – South Asian Takeout Edition | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

View all posts from Laura Stec

Local Flavor – South Asian Takeout Edition

Uploaded: 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.

ROOH

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


ROOH

473 University Ave, Palo Alto
Tuesday – Sunday: 4 PM – 8 PM
650- 800-7090


New Everest Cuisine

425 North Whisman Road #100, Mountain View
650-282-5958
Monday - Friday: 11AM - 3PM & 5PM-1AM
Saturday: 5pm-1AM
Sunday: 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!







We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   6 people like this
Posted by Editor, a resident of Waverly Park,
on May 1, 2020 at 2:03 pm

Addition of what? Should non-exisitent editors have changed the headline to "edition" instead of "addition"???


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a Almanac Online blogger,
on May 1, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

Thank you Editor - love ya! Duh!


 +   16 people like this
Posted by south Asia, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 2, 2020 at 4:54 pm

The title of this article is "East Asia". East Asia usually refers to countries like China, Japan, and Korea. The area around India is usually called South Asia.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 2, 2020 at 5:16 pm

Thank you South Asia. Someone in the know just described the area to me as East Asia. There must be debate on that. I wonder what others might say.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on May 2, 2020 at 6:17 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

Laura, if someone really characterized Nepal and India to you as "East" Asia, either they or you misunderstood. Otherwise, they established themselves thereby as unambiguously wrong (i.e., not "in the know"). There is not in fact any "debate on" these commonly understood geographical terms.

It kind of surprises me that anyone in the Bay Area would make such a basic error, given the many residents here with connections to both East- (i.e. Pacific-Rim) and South-Asian countries.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Lsura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 2, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Interesting, you know I feel the same way about Michigan, my home state. People call it the Midwest. I never thought is was MidWest - I have always called it the MidEast. Maybe here - SouthEast is best?


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on May 2, 2020 at 6:43 pm

Common sense is a registered user.

"Maybe here - SouthEast is best?"

No. I really don't want to be unkind, but please: learn a little geography before defending something like this against a good tip like the one "south Asia" wrote above.

While these broad-brush terms aren't always defined with precise limits, common understandings include:

East Asia: Pacific-rim countries from China north

Southeast Asia (historically "Indochina"): Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. and many islands, but excluding Oceania.

West Asia: Iran, Anatolian Turkey, the Caucasus nations, etc.

South Asia: Sub-Himalayan Asia (specifically including India and Nepal).


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on May 2, 2020 at 7:26 pm

You know what? The insulting tone is over. I don't really want to be unkind, but I am soooo done with it. Can you say boring? Let's get past the turn on we feel using a dominant tone. There is so much more. Writer above - male?


 +   17 people like this
Posted by Don't be, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 2, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Laura- just correct the headline. Don't be a doug moran.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by south Asia, a resident of Downtown North,
on May 2, 2020 at 9:57 pm

Wikipedia's definitions of "South Asia" and "East Asia" are standard usage: Web Link Web Link


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on May 3, 2020 at 12:31 am

Common sense is a registered user.

"Insulting tone" -- what?!?

You post something with a basic factual error. People point it out. You defend the error.

But this situation isn't all about "you" and it isn't necessary to read it so, nor project assumptions about who's pointing the situation out. Fix the error! Move on!


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 3, 2020 at 8:11 am

I have no problem changing titles my dear, and good morning to you. Just don't shoot the messenger. Ok I did use my outdoor words above, but it wasn't my descriptor. I wonder if it is a cultural perspective among certain groups - like the Michigan example?


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Geography + Ethnicities, a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 3, 2020 at 9:29 am

Food titles/debate aside, it should also be noted that the inhabitants of the aforementioned regions are ethnically different as well.

East Indians are not of the Asian race (think Chinese, Korean & Japanese) nor are the peoples of West Asia who are of Middle Eastern descent.

As a result, to name/place native cuisine from various countries situated within the Asia continent into one geographic category is somewhat misleading as the cooking styles and offerings are different.

It would be like lumping Italian, French, Spanish cuisine into one geographic category.

I didn't bother to mention Great Britain because outside of 'pub grub' they have no authentic cuisine of their own (unless one considers their timeless attachment to French gastronomy & wine + the various cuisines now offered by their diverse immigrant population).




 +   9 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on May 3, 2020 at 9:41 am

I agree G + E, I don't understand why India / Nepal is described with the word Asia at all. We look to reader input on this, assuming folks were raised describing their regions differently - and the way their parents and grandparents did in all reality. Here's a question to readers born in CA, would you call Michigan the Midwest?


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Geography + Ethnicities,, a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 3, 2020 at 11:03 am

Regardless of the states' actual geographic location(s), the Midwestern designation was assigned by the U.S. Census Bureau & is comprised of: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The common usage of the term goes back to the 1880s...probably based on westward expansion.

IMO...a 'Great Lakes' regional namesake would probably be more appropriate/accurate for states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin but chances are the U.S. Census Bureau wouldn't go for it...too much additional paperwork + reference revisions.

As for regional cuisine, Wisconsin is well known for its sausages & dairy products, Minnesota for wild rice & game fish...Michigan (to me) represents Motor City/Detroit but I would imagine that they have some specialty foods of their own as well.




 +   9 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 3, 2020 at 11:13 am

One food trend famous around Michigan is Coney Islands! Web Link


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Peter Ruddock, a resident of another community,
on May 3, 2020 at 6:36 pm

No debate Laura: India and Nepal are South Asia. Your friend who spend much of his life making maps.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on May 4, 2020 at 7:44 am

Peter Ruddock? What a pleasure and thank you for Food Partying! with us. You were a map maker? How interesting - I think I recall something of this in the back of my mind. Thanks for weighing in. Thanks for using your name. I will update the title at the end of the week - the way the majority takes it. Makes for good discussion until then. But how can we white people really be confident of this answer if it came from a cultural perspective? I'm still holding out.


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on May 4, 2020 at 10:09 am

Common sense is a registered user.

This blog thread is so strange I can't tell if you're just having a little extended joke, or are serious AND still haven't checked into it.

If the latter, would you also feel that a question in, say, basic arithmetic should be reasonably decided by "the majority" of your readers (or by people of particular origins)?


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of another community,
on May 4, 2020 at 10:12 am

Common sense is a registered user.

"Michigan, my home state. People call it the Midwest. I never thought is was MidWest - I have always called it the MidEast."

In a US map TODAY, "Midwestern" states are toward the east, yes. They'd be much more meaningfully nicknamed MidEast. I've said that for decades. But that's a naming idea about things-as-they-could-be, or maybe ought-to-be.

In the world of things-as-they-are, "Middle West" (or "Midwest") entered common usage when the US was smaller. Large western states hadn't yet been admitted. "Middle West" was geographically accurate, in the US of late 1800s.

And the set of "Midwestern states" has been de-facto standardized (and often used in popular culture) since before any of us was born. Long before the modern Census classification cited above. So the main question for us born in CA (or anywhere else in the US) isn't "would YOU call Michigan the Midwest" as phrased in an earlier comment. It's "did or didn't you learn the customary meaning of Midwest" (and maybe its historical basis too, because that makes sense of it).

Same with "Asia," except it was defined millennia ago. Regarding Asia, folks aren't "raised describing their regions differently," so much as raised knowing or not knowing standard (dictionary/encyclopedia) usage. Not everything is governed by personal tastes.

"Asia" is a portion of Eurasia with longtime customary boundaries Web Link

Anyone unaware that India is part of Asia's definition (since ancient times) -- more, it's one of two large regions with ancient national identities anchoring the practical meaning of Asia in human history -- can always learn!


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Peter Ruddock, a resident of another community,
on May 4, 2020 at 10:22 am

Hi Laura,

I really wasn't so much a mapmaker as a maker of digital tools for using maps. It's been a few years since I last worked on such things. Still, maps were always in front of me (and often still are).

Geography is fluid. Countries, with legal boundaries, change. As you point out, regions are even more flexible. I have no opinion as to whether Michigan is part of the Midwest or not! Especially at the edge of a perceived region, a place can seem to be part of multiple regions, often depending upon perspective. California is part of the West without doubt. But are parts of it in the Pacific Northwest (Humboldt County)? Or the Southwest (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties)? To whom does it matter? The residents first.

In my experience, the current and former residents of India and Nepal, as well as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, mostly refer to their region as South Asia. It's a mostly useful designation as the region is different than the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, though things get a little blurry at the "edges."

Thanks for putting up with my ruminations. Looking forward to future columns!


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Geography + Ethnicities, a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 4, 2020 at 11:05 am

QUOTE: "Geography is fluid. Countries, with legal boundaries, change. As you point out, regions are even more flexible."

^^^ Curious...have any countries ever/actually changed continents?

In the United States (and from a historical perspective), there has always been some ambiguity in terms of accurately defining Confederate leaning states as some sections of Tennessee/Missouri/Virginia were Union or Confederate biased due to regional political leanings as well as the practice of slavery.

So at the risk of being pedantic (which seems to be where this thread is headed), what constitutes true Southern cooking?

Are African-American inspired dishes to be differentiated from what the white folks originally & ordinarily ate? And does ethnicity enter into the picture in terms of culinary reference accuracy?

Barbeque technique/seasoning opens up a can of worms as the Spanish originated the concept, African-Americans perfected it & the white folks took it to the bank.

As a result, there is much subjective debate regarding the best regional version/styles whether it be Texas, Carolina, Alabama and/or others.

California not included because to my knowledge, there is no such thing as any original or particular California barbeque style...just southern-based regional stylizations & offerings.




 +   14 people like this
Posted by ASR, a resident of College Terrace,
on May 5, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Good material.

Let's not eat animals for five years.


 +   15 people like this
Posted by ASR, a resident of College Terrace,
on May 5, 2020 at 6:58 pm

East West South North
Asia America Africa Europe and all

It s food. Typically vegetables and spices.
Some eat animals.
Many don't.

Let's abstain from eating animals for five years.

Respectfully


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Former Palo Altan, a resident of another community,
on May 6, 2020 at 4:35 pm

Former Palo Altan is a registered user.

Laura, I grew up in Seattle, but did live in Michigan for nine years as a young adult. Everyone around me referred to living in the "Midwest"; I never, ever heard the area referred to as "MidEast". I did notice one odd thing, though; on the West Coast, when people refer to visiting the East Coast, they say they're going "back East", but some people in Michigan would refer to traveling "out East". I agree that the designation "Midwest" arose back in the 19th century.

Michigan culinary specialties that I remember include fresh apple cider in the fall, sold at the University of Michigan football games; I'm not normally a fan of commercial apple cider, but this was fabulous! Also, all sorts of baked goods based on cherries, which are a big crop there. And Vernors, a local brand of ginger ale; there used to be a fabulous Vernors-flavored ice cream, but I couldn't find any in the stores the last time I visited.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by gene786, a resident of Palo Verde,
on May 6, 2020 at 4:38 pm

gene786 is a registered user.

Here's a question to readers born in CA, would you call Michigan the Midwest?

The answer is yes. By convention, Michigan is in the MidWest and California is in the Far West of the United States. And travelers from California head east to reach the area known as the MidWest. My qualification is that I was born in California 87 years ago as were my father in 1901 and his mother in 1884.

"But how can we white people really be confident of this answer if it came from a cultural perspective? I'm still holding out."

This is a curious position. East Asia is a geographic name in English. So let's not keep Laura Stec in the dark about Californians. "The University of California CV Starr East Asian Library contains one of the most comprehensive collections of material in East Asian languages in the United States. Its combined holdings toaling over one million volumes in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other East Asian languages, make it one of the top two such collections in the United States outside of the Library of Congress." from UC Berkeley website.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on May 14, 2020 at 1:16 am

South Asia or Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as northern parts of India south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land (clockwise, from west) by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia.

The current territories of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka form South Asia.[5][note 2] The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is an economic cooperation organisation in the region which was established in 1985 and includes all eight nations comprising South Asia.[7]


Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

After 10 years, Shalala Ramen to leave downtown Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 13,632 views

Which City Council candidates "get" climate change?
By Sherry Listgarten | 14 comments | 3,161 views

Premarital and Couples: I’m not getting what I need. How can I get him/her to change?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,785 views

ABAG's housing demands for local cities are too much
By Diana Diamond | 9 comments | 884 views

Family Video Chats
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 736 views