“Namaste” is a Hindi greeting, which translates to “I bow to you”—perfectly embodying the open and inviting spirit of the newest restaurant to join our community.
Namaste Chicago (2515 N. California Ave.), a Nepalese and Indian cuisine, is a welcomed addition to Logan Square’s burgeoning international restaurant scene, further expanding the diversity of South Asian options and creating Logan Square as an increasingly homey place for different cuisines of excellent quality. Owned by Khagendra Ghimire and his business partners, each have plenty of experience in Indian and Nepalese kitchens, spanning over 20 years.
Namaste Chicago: Concept and Ambience
While Superkhana is experimental and cannot be solely categorized as “traditional” Indian food, Namaste Chicago features a vast array of food from the mountainous Himalayan region. While you can find traditional Indian dishes like Tikka Masala, Palak Paneer, and Vegetable Jalfrezi, you can also find Nepalese/Himalayan cuisine such as their Vegetable Momo, Thali (a collection of many Nepalese dishes on a silver platter), and goat specialty dishes.
Namaste is in the former Gosu restaurant space and opened back in September. The vibe is inviting and colorful with a festive bar area while still maintaining its BYOB affordability. Mirrors and photographs from the Himalayan region adorn the walls reminding us of the geographical inspiration for this heartwarming food.
Namaste Chicago has many vegetarian and vegan options but a lot of meat such as lamb and goat so it can be a great spot for omnivores and plant-based eaters. Before you start your meal, they bring you complementary Pappadum, which is a crispy lentil flatbread with your favorite chutneys (mint, tamarind, and achaar) served on a platter that makes you feel like royalty. The mint chutney was outstanding as it was bold and fresh.
Being a huge fan of Momo (steamed dumplings that you can find in India, Tibet, and Nepal), we started with an order of the Vegetarian Momo. They tasted fresh with a soft texture and were filled with minced vegetables. The orange chutney serving sauce was zesty with some familiar spices complementing the subtler flavors of the dumpling.
For our entrées, we went with Dal Makhani and Vegetable Jalfrezi. The Dal (lentils) was amazing—it was hearty, with perfectly blended spices and an ideal texture for the lentils. Every restaurant I go to has a different version of Dal Makhani, and it’s exciting to see the differences in interpretation. This one did have a hint of cream and tomato but the lentil and ginger flavor were the most prominent.
The Vegetable Jalfrezi was less of a showstopper but was consummately made vegetables in a mild and light tomato sauce. The cauliflower and broccoli were stir-fried with some spice and came out quite crispy. If you love eating vegetables, I highly recommend this dish because they know how to feature the virtues of vegetables.
A South Asian meal is not complete without some sort of “bread” accompaniment. So we had the garlic naan and the spicy naan. I was impressed with their naan—it was a bit thicker and less airy than I am used to. While the garlic naan is always a fabulous choice, I really enjoyed the spicy naan because it had freshly chopped green chili and cilantro. If you are into spice, then I highly recommend it!
To conclude our meal, Ghimire kindly gave us some mango pudding and it was such a refreshing end to a toothsome meal. I appreciated Namaste’s hospitality, and I cannot wait to try more here! They also have a lunch buffet on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $13.99 if you want to try more. I am thrilled that they have a lunch buffet because it is such an affordable way to try as much exciting food as possible. Namaste also does delivery so when it’s too cold to leave your apartment you can warm up with some Chana Masala and Vindaloo.
Overall Restaurant Review
Vegan Options Rating: ★★★★
Vegetarian Options Rating: ★★★★1/2
Pescatarian Options Rating: ★★★★1/2
Food Quality: ★★★★1/2
Overall Rating: ★★★★