Himalayan Restaurant opens a second location in Fridley
The original Himalayan Restaurant on East Franklin.
Naveen Shrestha, a native of Nepal, is expanding his restaurant portfolio. The executive chef and co-owner of the Highland Cafe & Bakery in St. Paul and the Himalayan Restaurant on East Franklin in Minneapolis recently took over the former India House in Fridley, on Central Avenue just south of 694, and opened a second Himalayan on January 1.
"We wanted to start out our new year on the right foot," he explained when the Hot Dish called to check in.
Shrestha says the original Himalayan, which he opened three years ago, has been doing well, and the idea to open a second location came from his customers. "They said to me, 'Hey, there's no Nepalese restaurants in the suburbs,'" he explains. When a customer tipped him off to the availability of the former India Palace space, Shrestha says, he liked Central Avenue's assortment of ethnic restaurants--and the fact that it lacked something similar to what he was doing. "It's a very nice neighborhood," he says, "but there's no Nepalese out there. I thought somebody should open a Nepalese restaurant. Why not me?"
The new space is slightly larger, capable of seating about 120 people. The menu replicates the one at the Minneapolis Himalayan--of course with the famous momos, including ones filled with yak--but also includes some new dishes. (Shrestha's brother and sister-in-law, Pravin and Neelima Shrestha, are running the front and back of the house, respectively, at the Minneapolis location.) Shrestha added a few Indian biryanis and chicken makhani (butter chicken), favorite dishes of the former chef-owner Joginder Cheema, who passed on the recipes. He soon hopes to add thukpa, a hearty Tibetan noodle soup with lots of spices and vegetables.
Himalayan Restaurant II
765 53rd Ave NE
Fridley, MN 55421
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