Yeti, I Know You...

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yetifrontdoor.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

I'm sure my girlfriend and I are not the only ones who loved that guy on American Idol who auditioned in Atlanta with his original one-man duet lovesong, beginning "La-ty, I know you," in falsetto.  Now I hear that guy every time I hear a word that starts with "lay" or ends with "tee"... or anything remotely similar.  As we strolled under the large Yeti Restaurant sign into the historic sawmill building of the Jack London Village Shops in Glen Ellen, the Atlanta guy was with us.  But the delectable smells wafting up from the open kitchen into the restaurant quickly put to rest any fears of further comparisons to that performance.  Warm spices, creamy curries, and blistering tandoor breads filled the air with their enticing aromas and made it clear that we needed to get to know Yeti, stat.
yetichef.jpgThe abominable snowman keeps a low profile in the colorful dining room, unlike the chef-owner Narayan Somname in his towering chef's toque.  Occasional painted tracks of the yeti in mid-gallop are the only sign of the restaurant namesake, but the owner's energy and enthusiasm are evident in everything he touches.  A complimentary pappad fresh out of the tandoor is presented like edible modern art, and pairs--as promised--delightfully with the Gloria Ferrer bubbly they pour by the glass.

The menu covers most of the standard Indian repertoire, like chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, curries, biryanis, tandoori, and samosas, but with some Nepalese classics as well.  Seafood is surprisingly well represented--mahi mahi tikka and lobster masala rub shoulders with prawn curries and the more usual suspects.  The rich, saucier dishes don't look or feel greasy, and spiciness levels were mild enough that you could appreciate the balance of flavors and textures, and also enjoy your wine with the meal.  The naan--plain, garlic, or garlic and cilantro--emerges from the tandoor blistered and glistening to oohs and ahhs of everyone within range.  The sizzling tandoori platters also make a grand entrance on their way to your table, billowing plumes of steam and spices in their wake.

momo.jpgAt the urging of the immensely talented ladies of Magical Massage across the street, our lunch began with steamed momos, the Nepalese answer to the potsticker. You have your choice of two versions, chicken or vegetable, both served with a cooling, yogurty, cilantro-based "somaname sauce" named of course, after the owner.  The veggie versions were stuffed with a curried medley of deliciousness (diced potato, thinly sliced onions, carrots, cabbage, and bright green spinach) far greater than the sum of its parts.  It proved impossible not to gobble them all up.

And so it was with the rest of the meal... far too tasty to leave behind.  Plan accordingly and wear appropriate pants.

Yeti Restaurant,
14301 Arrnold Drive, Suite 19, Glen Ellen, 707.996.9930

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wow, great review! Your description of the momo's makes them sound as if one cannot eat them fast enough. Get me to Yeti, stat!

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