Restaurant review

Halfway Himalayan Palace Restaurant

restaurant review

Himalayan Palace Restaurant
3760 Sports Arena Blvd. #5
The Midway neighborhood off San Diego, CA 92110
619-510-4966

By Judi Curry

A funny thing happened while we were eating at an Indian restaurant. My daughter Stephanie and I decided to go to our favorite Indian restaurant on Midway and easily found a parking spot right across the street. We walked into the restaurant and saw a group of people queuing but no movement. Like sheep, we also lined up.

A few minutes after we arrived a man walked in and spoke to a waiter coming out of the kitchen. He then turned and headed for the door, telling the woman waiting for him, “They’re not seating anyone.” I asked the woman in front of me if she was waiting for a table and she said no – she was waiting for her take out order. Stephanie then spoke to the server and was told the same thing as the previous customer – they weren’t seated with anyone. (I have to say there were people seated at tables and we actually saw some people being served. There were however many tables open which led us to believe they must have run out staff.)

As we were both craving Indian food, I remembered that there was an Indian restaurant just behind the Red Lobster on Sports Arena and we decided to go there instead – the Himalayan Palace. We tried to make reservations but were told online that there was nothing available until 7:30 and it was only 5:30 so decided to give it a try anyway. There was only one full table when we arrived and we had to shake our heads at being unable to make a reservation when almost all the tables were empty. We took a large table as we thought we would be ordering a lot of food. We were right.

Gobi Manjurian

The menu is extensive, with starters, soups, specials, vegetarian dishes. We asked our server if anything came with the starters – rice, naan, soup as the first restaurant we went to had soup and naan as part of their meals. At first the waiter didn’t understand our questions but told us that nothing special came with the orders.

After carefully reviewing the menu, we decided to start with an appetizer – Gobi Manjurian ($10.95) which was steamed cauliflower fried in a rice flour batter with a special homemade Himalayan sauce and celery. It was a bit spicy, but very good. It was served hot and we were each given our own plates so we could share it as well.

Since it was a cold evening, Stephanie and I decided we wanted soup, and she ordered the Dal Soup ($5.95) which was their mix of lentils cooked with Himalayan herbs and spices. . It was very tasty but would have been nice if we had a choice of ‘soup or salad’ with our entree.

Chicken Vindaloo

I had the Creamy Mushroom Soup ($7.95) which was a homemade cream of mushroom soup cooked with garlic and Himalayan herbs and spices. It was really delicious and quite a large portion was served. There is no doubt that I would order it again.

For her main course, Stephanie ordered Chicken Vindaloo. This was made with potatoes, onions and tomato sauce cooked in Himalayan herbs and spices, seasoned with vinegar and vindaloo sauce. The cost was $18.95. It came with a portion of rice. She asked for the spiciness level to be around a “3”, based on a scale of 1-5, but said if there was any spice she didn’t taste it. Although it was very good and she would order it again, she was disappointed that the spice level did not match what she ordered.

Chicken momo

I ordered the Chicken Momo ($13.95) which are steamed dumplings filled with ground chicken, onion, cilantro and Himalayan herbs and spices. It was served with a special Himalayan sauce. They were wonderful. Damp inside and out; the special sauce was a welcome addition, and I could have just eaten the sauce and been happy.

Naan

We weren’t sure how much food there would be, so we ordered a side of their plain/buttered Naan ($2.95). We only ate one of the 4 pieces that were served to us because there was so much food. Also, Stephanie ordered a cup of Masala Chai tea ($3.95) which she ended up putting in a cup and taking home. It was hot and tasty.

In addition to the above, I had a student who had a late class and since I wasn’t going to be home to cook dinner, I ordered a chicken curry to go ($19.95) which was made with onion and tomato sauce with Himalayan. herbs and spices. I asked for the spice level to be a “1” and it was. It was served with rice and I tasted it before giving it to my student and it was very “curry”. In other words, fine.

Overall the meal was delicious, albeit expensive. We couldn’t help but compare it to the first restaurant we chose, and the cost there would have been half of what it was here as soup and naan are part of their regular menu whereas here we had to pay extra for it. If cost wasn’t a factor we would definitely stay here again as everything was so good. But the bill, with tip, was $99 and for what we had, we felt a little overwhelmed.

There is no doubt that the Himalayan Palace is authentic; but for the same menu a few streets away, one can wonder about the return. Of course, if you can’t sit down……..