Alison Cook’s top 100: No. 11 Himalaya

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11. Himalaya Restaurant
Chef-owner Kaiser Lashkari cooks like a force of nature. The deep-toned curries and meat braises at his very modest Pakistani spot have the power to buffet your palate and rattle your roof shingles. His Chicken Hara Masala is a thing of green, herbal beauty, underlain by a sweet nuttiness. The beef or Afghani lamb karhais vibrate with ginger, hot chile and green cardamom. Mounds of fluffed-up goat or vegetable biryani release clouds of fragrant steam. Even the samosas and the puffy garlic naan loaves show distinct personalities. There’s an occasional stormy patch: a batch of woody dry-fried okra, say; or a stray rivulet of orange grease. But every time I eat here, I remember why I’m a card-carrying member of the Cult of Kaiser. As a peaceable young chef whom I admire once tweeted of Lashkari’s goat masala, “it made me want to fire off a handgun in joy.”
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Entree price range: $-$$
Where: 6652 Southwest Freeway
Phone: 713-532-2837


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