For months, people passing the shuttered restaurant between Bank of the West and Hillside Inn on Sonoma Highway in Santa Rosa (at Farmers Lane) have been teased with a Coming Soon: Yeti Restaurant sign. In May, the highly anticipated second location for the popular Glen Ellen eatery finally opened its doors.
Once home to a chain outlet, the building has been transformed inside with rich, red carpets and walls, tapestry-upholstered furniture, gold accents, dark wood and a spacious table arrangement that allows for conversation. The courteous and knowledgeable waitstaff is ready to provide descriptions and offer suggestions to those unfamiliar with Indian and Nepalese fare.
We started with a sampling of different appetizers, including tandoori scallops and prawn pakoras (with sweet seasoning and sauces that beautifully complimented the delicate seafood flavors), chicken and vegetable momo (Nepalese dumplings, similar to Chinese shu mai but with different spices), onion bhaji (clusters of thinly sliced green onion, dredged in chickpea batter and deep fried; crunchy and satisfying), and chicken sekuwa (super tender marinated breast meat served with a light, tangy yogurt sauce). All were served with a trio of toppings (fresh mint chutney, sweet and tangy tamarind sauce and hot pepper sauce) that were fun to sample back and forth over the dishes.
The Himalayan pepper pot soup was a standout. Dense with roasted tomato flavor and a slow-building heat and a hot-and-sour element, it was garnished with cilantro and fresh green onion. We enjoyed it with olive oil and basil naan, which was huge (seriously, enough for four people easily), and the combination was like an exotic spin on a comfort food staple—it would be perfect on a cold winter day.
All the dishes were large enough to share. Good thing, too, because we were intrigued by everything that came to the table and simply had to try it all. The reshami kebab (chicken) came to the table on a sizzling platter, perfectly marinated and topped with lightly cooked onion and broccoli pieces, which added a nice crispness. It was great when topped with the mint chutney.
We paired Kashmiri pilau (basmati rice cooked with spices, nuts, apples, raisins, green peas and onions) with saag gosht, a lamb and spinach dish with a heavy sauce (almost like a stew) spiced with fennel, garlic, onion and fenugreek (a spice used in most curries, it gave the dish a slightly sweet, nutty flavor). Hard to decide, ultimately, with all the delicious choices, but I think this was my favorite.
We topped off the meal with traditional Indian pistachio kulfi ice cream, which was nutty and super creamy but not too sweet. It was served with a light pistachio biscuit, a sprinkling of pistachios, foamy coconut cream and a drizzle of cherry sauce. The effect was palate cleansing and decadent all at the same time.
As we dined, we watched a steady stream of take-out customers collecting their orders. So now with its second location and dine-in or carry-out options, there’s really no excuse. Chef/owner Narayan Somname and Yeti is waiting to tantalize your taste buds.
Located at 1410 Neotomas Ave. in Santa Rosa,NorthBay biz magazine is a monthly business-to-business publication covering Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties. This year, the magazine is celebrating 43 years of continuous operation. It originally hit the stands in 1975, when it was called Sonoma Business, and only covered Sonoma County. Norm and Joni Rosinski and John Dennis, acquired it in 2000 and changed its name to cover an expanded market. Today, the magazine is part of Amaturo Sonoma Media Group. More here..