The Dancing Yak

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For Father’s Day, the restaurant I wanted to take my dad to was all booked out. Classic SF. With close ties to Nepal, however, I thought it would instead be an appropriate homage to celebrate my father at a Nepalese restaurant called The Dancing Yak.

Walking into the restaurant, the psychedelic art smearing the walls captivates the eye and the smells coming from the kitchen seize hold of the stomach.

We shared two of the most classic dishes one will find in Nepal. First we shared the momos. Momos are a Nepalese dumpling. It is similar to a Japanese gyoza but it is steamed, not fried. The filling will vary depending on what area of Nepal you are in, and can range from bison to yak to lamb. With a choice between chicken and vegetable, we ordered the chicken dumplings filled with chives, garlic and spices, and served with a spicy tomato sauce.

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Next we shared the dal bhat thali. A thali is a round platter used to serve food, and is typically used to serve food both in Nepal and India. The foods arranged in a circular pattern remind me of a Seder plate, but instead with dishes that are actually appetizing. Our thali plate came with rice, yellow lentils (dal bhat), an assortment of vegetables, tomato aachar (pickled mango), papadum (the cone-shaped and crispy “cracker” made of lentils), and goat curry.

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The food here is unpretentious and authentic Nepalese food. If you are looking for a casual, sit-down dining option on Valencia Street in the Mission district, then this may be the place for you.