Top 100 Houston restaurant (No. 9): Himalaya

It’s Kaiser Lashkari’s town, and the rest of us just eat in it. Or so I tell myself when I dine at what is arguably Houston’s premier mom-and-pop. It would be enough that chef Lashkari and his wife, Azra, serve up Pakistani and North Indian fare brimming with verve and assurance. But the ever-inventive Kaiser has embraced his adopted city and its culinary totems with enthusiasm, turning out a bonkers chicken and dumplings, or a funky, irresistible paratha-dilla of flatbread folded around minced lamb and unpressed paneer. His latest? A tava gosht of tenderloin tips marinated in northern Pakistani frontier style, then tumbled on a hot griddle with onion, green chile and tomato so that it resembles a racier shaking beef, or a berserk boeuf bourguignon. The room — and the prices — are modest. The food is ever so joyously not.

WHAT TO ORDER: Tava gosht; thin, bubbled garlic naan; hara masala curry of chicken or paneer; lamb paratha-dilla; Himalaya fried chicken with a crisp, fluffy crumb; masala chicken and dumplings; Special BBQ/Grill Platter; goat masala bhuna; the ethereal ras malai dessert.

PRO TIP: It’s BYOB (use discretion during Ramadan). The $13.75 lunch combo platter is an adventure that changes daily.

Cuisine: Indian and Pakistani

Entree price: $-$$

Where: 6652 U.S. 59 S.

Phone: 713-532-2837


Last year’s ranking: 13


EXPLORE OUR TOP 100: It's consistent quality that has kept 42 restaurants featured in Alison Cook's 2012 lineup in the Top 100 mix today. Cook's choices stay at the top of their game in their respective class, whether that be high or low, pricey or affordable. Search Houston's top restaurants by name, neighborhood and cuisine using our interactive tool.