August 10, 2004

Top of the World Food Lhasa Moon is most likely on of the few Tibetan restaurants in Northern California. This quiet restaurant in San Francisco’s north side is a quiet retreat offering inexpensive and tasty dishes from the top of the world. Unfortunately this little gem is closing at the end of the month. The menu has made some adjustments to accommodate Western tastes but after researching more about traditional food from Nepal it appears that the personality of the region’s food is intact. Understandably it is a challenge to get fresh yak meat in the States. As you might expect, as Buddhists are by choice vegetarians, there are many options suited for this dining preference. In addition in my quest for understanding the food and the country's history I came across an April 2000, Asian Wall Street Journal article where the owner of Lhasa Moon, Tsering Wangmo: "This kind of food you won't find in Tibet," she laughed. I felt vindicated in my withering summary of this faked Tibetan cuisine; the restaurants in the U.S., I thought, simply cater to an American palate. But her next words caused me to reconsider. "Tibetan cuisine went into exile with the Dalai Lama's court; the only thing left to eat in Tibet is tsampa, yak meat and Chinese food," she said, wrinkling her nose. When the Dalai Lama left, the elite of Tibetan society went with him--taking along their cooks, their traditional recipes and a lifestyle that delighted in lavish entertaining. The historic exchange of Tibetan salt...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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