Now here's something you don't see everyday. On the Upper West Side there's a little mom-and-pop restaurant serving what they call "Tibetan Home Cooking". Gothamist wasn't sure what to expect - yak cheese and steamed vegetables, maybe - but we tried it out anyway. We were pleasantly surprised to find that not only was the menu broader than the bill of fare at a Buddhist monastery, it included some real winners. Chief among these are Momo: little dumplings similar to Chinese pot stickers.


They come with all manner of fillings, but our favorite are the "Shogo Fried Momo": Curried potato and onion dumplings steamed and then pan fried. They're served with a stealthy hot sauce loaded with cilantro; carb-loaders can also order some bhale: Tibetan pita bread reminiscent of Indian naan. If you're looking for the truly authentic Tibetan experience, you can wash it down with a cup of bocha, the churned salted-butter-and-tea emulsion that is said to be a sort of mock-chicken-broth, but to our palate resembled a thin, uncooked roux.

Tibet Shambala doesn't offer much in the way of decor, and service is friendly but erratic. But the momo are filling and not that expensive by Upper West Side standards (although they're twice as pricey as most dumplings in Chinatown), and Gothamist can never resist good dumplings.

Tibet Shambala
488 Amsterdam Ave. (between 83rd and 84th)