Kathmandu Kitchen

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kathmandu1.jpgThe exterior of Kathmandu Kitchen kathmandu_ext.jpgHow the exterior of Kathmandu used to look

Location
234 G Street, between KetMoRee and Jusco
Hours
Daily: Lunch 11am-3pm (buffet), Dinner 3-10pm (full menu)
Happy hour starting from 3 to 6:30, 7 days a week
Belly dancing 7-8:30 Friday and Saturday evenings
Late night Happy Hour from 11:00-12:00
Full bar Open with DJ and Dancing Friday and Saturday Open until 2am Friday and Saturday
Serving dinner on Friday and Saturday till 12:00 midnight
Delivery 7 days a week till 10pm
Phone
(530)756-3507
Website
[WWW]http://www.kathmandukitchendavis.com
Owner
Navinder Bhandal
Coupons
[WWW]http://www.groupon.com/deals/kathmandu-kitchen-3

Although the decor inside Kathmandu Kitchen is not slick in feel — cases holding Buddhist statues visible to patrons from the waiting area — these are trivial details in relation to what really matters: the food.

The Indian and Nepalese food presents the diner with a wide array of choices, and there is something to delight everyone, from carnivore to the vegan to the gluten-free and peanut-free. Also, for those who love South Asian dishes but are at constant intestinal war with heavily spiced foods, one can ask for any or all dishes to be prepared mildly. They make a point of purchasing from local farmers. The prices are reasonable, not cheap, and even if you're new to South Asian cuisine you will have to work hard to make a misstep while ordering in this restaurant. Still, if you are worried the wait staff are good about suggesting tried-and-true dishes.

Kathmandu has a lunch all-you-can-eat buffet Monday-Friday for $8.95. The buffet has a range of vegetarian options and meat choices, and is absolutely delicious. They've recently added sushi and other non-Indian items. They also regularly have a booth serving up food at Picnic In The Park.

Kathmandu has a full bar and is open until 2am on Friday and Saturday night. Offering a late night happy hour and a DJ that plays a mix of Bollywood, Bhangra, and American music. The beer selection is decent, although they seem to run out of certain beers surprisingly often. As of late 2009, they even had Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA on tap.

Kathmandu has belly dancing from 7-8:30 on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Suggestions

  1. If you have some samosas as one of your starters, try the Nepalese-style samosas instead of the usual samosas. The pieces will be smaller, but you will get more of them. Having more pieces is better if you're going as part of a group anyway.

  2. Unless you want to forego the dairy, have a lassi to drink with your food. The cool of the yogurt will ease the spiciness of what you're eating. The mango lassi is especially vibrant in taste, though more adventurous folks should try the salt lassi.

  3. Kathmandu Kitchen has great sauces. Order some mango chutney to go with your dishes and your naan or chapati. Ask for extra tamarind sauce or cilantro/mint sauce if you like.

  4. If you are at all interested in eating vegetarian- or vegan-style, this is definitely the place to do it. Many avowed meat-eaters will walk away from a vegetarian/vegan meal at Kathmandu Kitchen feeling nourished, full, and totally satisfied.

  5. Remember to take a spoonful of toasted fennel seeds from the bowl by the door as you're walking out. Crunching on a small handful of these little babies will freshen your breath, cleanse the palate, and leave a taste on your tongue that is out of this world. What a great way to round off a fabulous meal!

If you are looking for a dish that cannot be bought elsewhere in Davis, the momos are right up your alley. These Nepalese dumplings come in meat and vegetarian varieties, are a good deal, can be split across multiple people, and are more filling than most meat dishes.

Farmer's Market Tent

Kathmandu has a tent at the Farmer's Market on Wednesday evenings. The menu is limited compared to the restaurant, and the portions are a bit smaller. But the food is quite good, and you pay somewhat less for the food too. This is a great way to try their food, and is very tasty.

Reviews and Comments

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2010-01-30 19:38:30   They've changed their Chicken Chili dish, for the worst. I used to love it and order it all the time, but now it's practically inedible. I'm afraid to go back. —OrofinJackson


2010-02-03 00:50:11   The food was pretty good, but not spectacular enough to warrant the prices. Maybe I'm just cheap. More importantly, the service I experienced here was pretty awful. My boyfriend and I were waited on by an older woman who sat us down at a booth and practically threw down our menus. I've had bad days — but this was more than that. She returned to take our order, but it was more like, "Okay what do you want?" and it seemed like she'd rather be having a root canal than be waiting on us. We are by no means demanding patrons — that's why we went back a second time for the very same treatment. Enough of that. Not going back. —MichellePalmer


2010-02-03 01:09:39   Oh! One more thing! The floors are ridiculously slippery if you're wearing shoes with less than ideal traction — ie cute heels. I felt like I was ice skating in there! —MichellePalmer


2010-03-28 20:18:00   I absolutely LOVE this place!!! I've never been disappointed with the buffet OR the service for dinner. The Chicken Makhani, however that's spelled, is amazing. I also love that you can order delivery for a $3 fee, totally worth it. Not AS wonderful at farmer's market, it almost tastes like they're watering down their sauce in the Tikka Masala, but aside from that I completely recommend Kat Kitchen!! —ChristinaRae


2010-04-24 17:39:04   My girlfriend and I just went here earlier today for our first Indian food experience and it was awesome. I'm unsure of all the negative comments about service, but our waitress was fantastic. I have no other experience with Indian food to gauge with, but both of us really enjoyed everything. We had the Korma and Tikka masala, both excellent. Prices seemed reasonable for what was a large dinner plate (we both got the Thali option) and we got a free sample of the mango lassi. Will return again. —Sar58


2010-04-26 19:37:15   The food is okay here. There are not a lot of choices for Indian / Nepali food in Davis. However, the hostess was extremely rude to our table. The restaurant wasn't busy and no one was waiting for a table. After having been there for about 30, 40 minutes total, our small group was chatting and finishing up our meals. Clearly, we still had a decent amount of food on our plates and were still eating, but the hostess came over and said abruptly, "You're done, right?" with her hands out over the table to take our plates away. When one of us, who had eaten only about a quarter of his food, said politely that he needed a few more minutes she scowled at all of us and walked away. She kept looking over at our table and walking over for the next fifteen minutes until we finally gave up and let her take our partially eaten food away. Our waitress was okay - We waited a bit to get service and only saw her once when she took our orders (she never returned to the table to ask how everything was), but she got our orders right and was not unpleasant. The busboys were very good about refilling water glasses. When we walked out, the hostess glared at us again. The food wasn't good enough to tolerate the poor level of service. May come back for the lunch buffet if really craving Indian again but will not return for dinner again. —davis.renter


2010-05-14 18:20:48   Went here once with my mom and brother (indian food junkies) and we decided not to come back. The service was awful even though we were the only patrons in the place, no one smiled, my order of lamb saag had a chunk of spice in it that upon biting into made my mouth taste awful for the remainder of the meal AND I only had 5 pieces of lamb in the entire dish. Blech. —OliviaY


2010-06-20 18:53:52   We have ordered takeout from Kathmandu Kitchen on a number of occasions and have always LOVED the food. Today, we decided to eat in the restaurant for the first time. Not only was the food delicious (as always), but the service was amazing. Our water glasses were never less than 3/4 full and our waitress, Kirsten, seemed to pop up on cue. She was personable and took very good care of us. The service was in short, excellent! Going into the restaurant is definitely worth the effort!! —stepside93


2010-06-25 13:26:26   So glad I decided to try this place, fantastic food and nice atmosphere. Very nondescript and small exterior leads to a cozy interior with lots of private booths. We got the appetizer sampler and it was more than enough for 2 people, probably better shared among 4 people. The sauces and chutney that came with our appetizers were absolutely delicious. The naan had a nice flavor and texture. Most people were eating at the lunch buffet but we went off the menu. I can't wait to go back for dinner! —cerise


2010-08-14 21:57:01   They have really good sauces, though sometimes i feel like is a bid greasy, but then i tend to put too much sauces on my food anyways. The lamb is sometimes inconsistent, usually I really like it, but once it got a bid overly burnt. Still good though.

The buffet is definitely worth the price. —PeterWang


2010-09-30 19:38:34   THIS IS THE BEST PLACE FOR INDIAN FOOD IN DAVIS!!!!! my girlfriend and I HELLA LOVE the food here. the chicken tikka masala is HELLA DELICIOUS. and the chicken curry is HELLA EXQUISITE. they will even add in some potatoes to your dish if you want some, which is HELLA CONVENIENT. the food is served quickly and the atmosphere is HELLA DELIGHTFUL. that is all. —mushroomdreamer


2010-10-30 07:08:09   Their "Chicken Chili" dish is nothing but fried chicken with buffalo sauce. They call this Indian food. Seriously? I know copying Indian food can be a challenge for a bunch of no-clue kitchen crew, but wing sauce....C'mon.
OK, and now for the butter-chicken scam. Take tomato puree + heavy whipping cream + Garam Masala + hint of cinnamon and there you go, you got the gravy right there. Wanna make it fancy, add powdered cashews. Calorie bomb people. —snehalt


2011-01-26 09:58:29   Meh. Went here yesterday for the buffet and tried a little bit of mostly everything. I prefer Raja's. The service was good though and the lady kept our water glasses full. —jsbmeb


2011-01-27 14:03:14   Decent service, good food. Not my favorite Indian place ever, but tasty. Excellent naan, and the Kabuli naan is super yummy! The chai is very authentic. I also love that they don't mind too much if you stay and chat for a while after paying the check. The lamb korma is excellent. —MeganCleary


2011-03-24 13:50:57   They usually have a $1 off coupon for the lunch buffet on the green coupon machine book that comes in the mail (or you can print it off the book's online site for free). Their food is so good! They have the most delicious vegetarian dishes of any place I know, too! —Ravyn


2011-03-26 22:46:20   Been here many times for either Buffet or dinner. I went around trying other Indian places as well but have always come back to Kathmandu. For me, Kathmandu utilizes better spices in all of their flavorful food. Their Tandoori chicken is better than the other 2 Indian restaurants in town, with more of that smokey goodness. The palak paneer is also very good along with their lamb. The service can be slow but I'd rather take slow service over mediocre tasting food. For me, Kathmandu is the best Indian restaurant in Davis hands down.

Went again recently (August 2011) and the service was the best I've had since I've been here. Everything was quick and the waitress came back multiple times to check up on us. Hopefully they got rid of some of their not so friendly waitresses. The food was better than I remembered and the a la carte came in a newer metallic bowl instead of a ceramic plate. The experience was very positive. Only if they can get their naan like Bombay Dream, it would be hands down the BEST INdian restaurant in DAVIS. I account for how consistant a restaurant delivers on its food. Will be back many more times before I leave Davis next year.

C.Ling


2011-05-05 03:43:46   AMAZING food. I always go for the lunch buffet—unlimited tasty ethnic food for less than ten bucks. The chicken tikka masala and chicken curry are DELICIOUS! Highly recommend this place. —alissaw995


2011-06-04 14:12:13   This is one of my favorite restaurants in Davis, but I went there last night and they had changed the prices on the menu. The Chicken Tikka Masala was a dollar or two more than before. Ok, whatever. But then the waitress (who was very nice, yes they do have a few really good waitresses, let's give those girls some credit) informed us that it doesn't come with rice anymore and rice is a dollar extra. So basically I think that is just a little ridiculous. The food was the same, so if you liked it before and are willing to pay a few dollars more for it, then you're good to go. —DanaC


2011-06-16 12:54:38   Best happy hour specials in Davis!!!! Different from the usual happy hour food, and excellent prices. Amazing, unique cocktails too. We really liked our waitress/bartender Olivia. My only complaint? Get some more barstools! I'd like to bring a bigger group for happy hour and enjoy their excellent bar! —cerise


2011-07-03 11:14:44   We went here for dinner Friday and had a mostly positive experience. I highly recommend the vegetarian combo appetizer. It has two large samosas, four smaller Nepalese samosas, vegetable pakoras and dipping sauces. YUM.

I ordered the chana masala and my partner ordered a chicken dish. We both asked for "hot" on the spicy scale... that was the main shortfall. We both thought our dishes were very flavorful but were medium/wimpy for heat. Also note that you have to purchase rice and naan separately from the entree.

The service was friendly and we were there when the belly dancer was performing (does anybody know the etiquette for that type of thing? Are we supposed to tip??). Overall I would go again, but will let them know that when I say hot, I mean super spicy. —MeggoWaffle


2011-08-03 16:30:05   I've been to the restaurant a few times but I usually order delivery. They are quite quick most days and the food is always piping hot when it arrives. Nothing like some paneer pakora to spice up my lactose intolerant life! Their lamb biryani is FANTASTIC as well. I've never had a bad dish and the service has always been very friendly. I'll have to actually come in more often and say hi since I love the food so much.:D —KBathory


2011-08-08 17:32:20   Ordered Take-Out from Katmandu Kitchen today. There food is always delicious. And staff is always nice. ¬†And when I asked for the food to be 'really really spicy', they really got it right this time.

I have ordered Chicken Tikka Masala ToGo over a dozen times probably during their dinner hours, and lunch a couple of times, and after eating the ToGo from the lunch hours, I say 'did I get this from Katmandu Kitchen??'

So from now on I guess I'll get chicken tikka masala ToGo during the dinner time only.

Side note: the naan is 'yummmy' —NikhilDahal


2011-10-23 15:17:35   I got food poisoning here last year. Now I go to India Oven in Natomas. —striker


2013-07-24 18:51:08   Kathmandu Kitchen sent out mailers advertising free delivery on orders over $40, along with a couple of coupons. The coupons don't expire until the end of September, but when I just placed an order over $40, they said they're no longer honoring the free delivery offer. —TomGarberson

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