If you made it to Sherpa Kitchen in 2020, before the pandemic caused Subash and Chandra Yadav to close their doors in November of that year, then you know what a wonderful addition to the food community it was: a small, inviting Nepali restaurant born of a food truck (Everest Momo) beloved for its handmade Nepali dumplings called momos. Steamed or deep-fried, they were a revelation, whether set afloat in nourishing broth or tossed in a pungent sauce punched with vinegar and chiles.
Well, I have some great news, and it’s a little like Mark Twain’s famously misquoted quip “reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Sherpa Kitchen, which we all believed was closed for good, has quietly reopened as of this past Monday.
This incarnation is an abridged version of the original, a fast-casual zeroing in on just two items — momos and kitchari — with a handful of sides, desserts and frozen take-and-make items (momos and sauces) thrown in for good measure. Yadav says it was essential to pare things down, given the universal problem of finding restaurant workers.
Momos (eight to an order, $10) may be ordered steamed or fried with one of three sauces: coconut curry, fire-roasted tomato or garlic chile.
Kitchari (pronounced kich-uh-ree) is a foundational dish in Aryuvedic cooking (based on the Indian principle of Aryuveda, which purports that disease can be prevented and health promoted through food and lifestyle choices). Traditionally a mixture of basmati rice and lentils, simmered slowly with spices until it achieves a porridge-like consistency, kitchari can also be made with other grains, including quinoa, as it is at Sherpa Kitchen ($7). The dish comes topped with fresh cucumber, tomato pico de gallo and citrus dressing, but the customer may add protein (chicken or tofu, $2.50) or additional toppings such as grilled vegetables or Nepali pickles ($1.50).
As you can see from the pictures, everything looks fresh and beautiful.
As a side note, Yadav did an impressive multi-course fundraising dinner called A Taste of Nepal last June. Because he had no space of his own, friend and fellow chef Charleen Badman obliged, lending him FnB for the evening. He raised money for NIC, Nepal’s COVID relief program, and in the process, left us lucky attendees blown away by lovely presentations and a level of sophistication we didn’t see coming. This guy is capable of much more than momos, but that’s okay. We live in strange times, and I’m happy to eat whatever Subash Yadav is dishing out. Momos and kitchari? I’m there. You should be, too.
Sherpa Kitchen, 1533 W. Elliot Rd., #101, Gilbert, 480-687-1187, sherpakitchenaz.com