Sunday, January 25, 2009

Himalayan Heritage

2305 18th St NW
Washington DC
(202) 483-9300

Visited: January 24, 2009

The first thing you'll notice as you walk into the Himalayan Heritage is the cozy nature of this small little restaurant. Random stranger are seated at small table in a close proximity that makes patrons unwilling eavesdroppers of random conversations. Himalayan Heritage may be small, but contrary to popular belief, size doesn't matter as this little gem will astound you with big flavors without big prices.

My wife and I walked into Himalayan Heritage this past Saturday night in order to celebrate her birthday (a few days early) by trying out a new restaurant. I had found articles written about the Himalayan Heritage with an overwhelming consensus amongst restaurant critics and regulars that fans should keep this their little secret. Articles and descriptions almost made it sound like to share the greatness of the Himalayan Heritage would spoil it with large crowds and long waits.

Enter the sometimes witty-but-too-humble-to-call-himself-smart husband Antonio. Being a huge fan and connoisseur of Indian Food, my wife chose this place for her birthday dinner after reading those articles which I kindly forwarded on to her during my lunchtime internet "escapes" from work. The witty husband part came into play when I, Antonio of sometimes sound mind and tubby body called up Himalayan Heritage and made a Saturday night reservation for two at 8:30pm. Just enough time for the wife to get dolled up, leave our suburban paradise, sneak into DC and fight for a not-too-far parking spot in population dense Adams Morgan.

Yes, walking into Himalayan Heritage on Saturday night at 8-ish PM I was glad that I made a reservation. The small entrance was crowded with people waiting for a table and patron crowding at the bar waiting for their food orders to arrive. The hostess greeted the people in front of us with a very warm Good evening" and "Do you have a reservation"?

"I do!" screamed the voice inside my little head. As the people in front of us sadly said "no" and waited for an open table to become available. When the hostess greeted us with the same warm hello and question, I quickly responded "Yes" and gave my name. We took five steps to a small table next to a window with a sign that said "RESERVED" and my full name (albeit misspelled, but can you blame them?) in big letters. Seeing this sign I felt like a big important person and happily turned to my wife and said, "Man, I'm glad I made a reservation".

Sitting down at the table our waitress arrived, welcomed us and introduced herself. She also brought over a delicious free appetizer of spiced soy beans in a tasty but slightly spicy sauce. My wife and I scanned the menu happily "oohing" and "aahing" with all of the delectable choices. Ordering our drinks, we continued to read through the menu trying hard to decide on two dishes to share.

Being a huge fan of Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala, my choice was clear as I consider myself a connoisseur of these dishes. The wife (happy with my predictable choice) decided to choose the Chef Special Biryani which consisted of lamb, chicken and shrimp...yum Yum YUM!! Satisfied with our choices we enjoyed our drinks and polished off our complimentary soy bean appetizer.

Our real appetizer of veggie Samosas arrived a few minutes later. The wife and I tore into them like wolves at steak. By the way, does anyone else but me chuckle at the description of a delicious veggie friendly appetizer by using the most carnivore of comparisons? Hahaha! Anyway, I digress! The Samosas were delicious as I freely used the Tamarin and spicy green sauces. The flaky Samosa crust was delicious hiding the tasty potato and pea filling hidden on the inside. In what seemed less than two seconds, the two Samosas were sent to oblivion, never to be seen or heard from again. Next of kin were not notified.

Sipping our drinks, we celebrated the memory of the fallen Samosas all the while admiring the intimately close setting of Himalayan Heritage. A somewhat entertaining and free bonus of the restaurant is that tables are so close that you can easily eavesdrop on the conversations of your neighbors. Being somewhat of a conversation voyeur, this was definitely an unexpected treat. To my right a family of six sat discussing future job prospects for a soon-to-graduate daughter. Father and mother weighed in with past experience and advice while the young lad who appeared to be the youngest son sat quietly enjoying his tasty food. Behind me an older couple enjoyed each other's conversation with talk of the cold and predictions for warmer days. I loved it!

Surprise surprise our food arrived piping hot and smelling amazing! My butter chicken was placed before me while the wife's Chef Special Biryani was placed in the middle of the table. Mouth watering I think we only mumbled, "This looks awesome" before diving into the bounty. Let me tell you that the appearance of the food didn't let us down as our palates soon screamed with delight. This food was (as my wife says it) aaaaaaaaamaaaaaaaaaaaazing!!

To call our food an amazing would be a GROSS understatement. I prefer to use the world PHENOMENAL! Being huge fans of Indian food, we could NOT find anything wrong or ill criticism of the Himalayan Heritage's food. The service, presentation and taste all combined with the small intimate setting to truly create a marvelous dinner outing. Best part of this was that the wife was very impressed with the choice. Mark one down for Fat Daddy's choice. As we finished off our food (in between compliments and accolades for the taste and flavors), plans were made to stop by the Himalayan Heritage in the near future.

Oh yes, as the Governator used to say, "I'll be baaaaaack". Maybe next time with reinforcements ala friends and/or family.

Himalayan Heritage on Urbanspoon

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