Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City
Today begins the Year of the Sheep in the Chinese New Year. But it’s also the first day of Losar, the 15 day Tibetan New Year celebration. It doesn’t get as much press in this country, but it’s a good excuse to eat tasty Tibetan food.
The dish traditionally eaten on Losar is called guthuk, a fascinating noodle soup dish that features dumplings stuffed with symbolic ingredients, like chiles, coal or cotton (not all edible). Sort of like an interactive dumpling version of fortune cookies.
More common than that special dish are the everyday momos that have become very popular in New York, especially around Jackson Heights. So many Tibetan or Nepalese restaurants have opened within a short block radius of each other that my friend Jeff Orlick has even organized a momo crawl for the last two years.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the official crawl this past year, but I was eager to taste some of the competition, especially the winner. I found myself in Queens and I convinced Jeff to join me at Lhasa Fast Food.
Part of the mystique here is that Lhasa is hidden behind a mobile store. Signs have become more prominent over the months since the crawl, but you sort of have to know what you’re looking for. Hidden restaurants always make for a fun time.
But the spectacular momos themselves are well worth seeking out. These steaming buns were probably the best version I’ve ever tried – the skin was soft and thin with a juicy spiced beef filling. To top it off, the orange momo sauce adds an addicting numbing flavor, similar to Szechuan peppers, that enhances the little dough bombs.
You don’t need to wait for Losar to celebrate Tibetan food. With momos this good, you can and should indulge every day of the year.
|LHASA FAST FOOD|
37-50 74th Street (between 37th Road and 37th Avenue),
Jackson Heights Queens