I flew into LaGuardia airport a couple of weeks ago when Trump was speaking to the UN General Assembly and the traffic and gridlock that day in Manhattan were supposed to be murder. So I decided to have a cab drop me in Jackson Heights at the 7 train stop and subway it onto Manhattan. I had been out to Jackson Heights a couple of years ago to eat momos, (here and here) but I was surprised by the explosion of momo restaurants that has happened since then. After looking at menus at over a dozen places around the intersection of Broadway and Roosevelt Ave, I more or less randomly picked Potala Restaurant to try a serving of momos. Tashi D. Lama, the owner of Potala, was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal where he became a monk, but since June 2017 has been cooking up laphing and momo in a tiny store front with counter space for about 10 diners.
The Dumplings: The momos at Potala Restaurant are round precisely pleated buns, that look similar to Xiao Long Bao, and come filled with beef, chicken or vegetable. The momos are steamed to order and so it takes 10 to 12 minutes for the bamboo steamer to be served up. The vegetable momos are vegan and were filled solely with chives, which tasted like mild scallions. It was a bit of a singular flavor for an entire meal but after a couple of days of food at a conference in Texas, it felt good to eat something green and healthy. Some of the momo I got had wrappers that were split and a little damaged, so I think they had been over-steamed, but I enjoyed these momos.
The Dipping Sauces: There were bottles of soy sauce and a yellow achar sauce and tubs of red chili paste on the dining counter. Unlike some of the other Himalayan restaurants I have tried, the yellow achar they serve is not spicy but instead is mild and creamy.
The Location: Potala Restaurant is in Jackson Heights on 37th Road between 74th and 75th Streets around the corner from the 74th Street-Broadway Station entrance for the 7 train. This area is center for Himalayan restaurants in New York City.