The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2018 Spring Dining Guide.
The question I ask myself every time I push away from the table at Royal Nepal is this: Why aren’t there more such restaurants in the DMV? Taste the momos, and tell me there isn’t a market for the supple steamed dumplings filled with succulent goat (or yak) and striped with tomato-red and cilantro-green sauces. Try the lamb marinated in yogurt, herbs and Himalayan salt, and point me in the direction of a superior spiced chop. Anyone for wild boar? You might be, after sampling meat that has been massaged with cumin, coriander and numbing Sichuan peppercorns, then roasted to a tender state in a wood-fired tandoor by chef and co-owner Subash Rai, a native of Nepal. His colleagues make fine (if somewhat hesitant) fellow ambassadors in the cozy dining room, its side window dressed with jars. They contain the racy pickles guests get as they settle in with their menus: carrots and daikon hit with chiles and lime, now available for $15 per (serious) pop.
Royal Nepal: 3807 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria. 571-312-5130. royalnepalva.com.
Open: Lunch and dinner daily.
Prices: Lunch mains $4 to $10, dinner mains $14 to $25.
Sound check: 70 decibels / Conversation is easy.