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There are many ways for an Indian buffet to go astray: dried-out rice, heavy curries that sit untouched for hours, sauces and chutneys swirled together into an unappetizing mess. Yak & Yeti Restaurant & Brewpub, however, commits none of these culinary crimes. The sprawling lunch buffet at the Westminster Nepalese-Indian eatery is clean and closely monitored. Staffers frequently stir and refill the stainless steel containers of traditional masalas, samosas, and pakoras. The best part? Never-ending platefuls cost only $9.95 at lunch and $13.95 at dinner.
I began by loading up my dish with the deep orange, tender chicken tikka masala, followed by creamy saag paneer (a spinach and cheese dish) and an earthy chana masala (chickpea curry). By the time I returned to the table, a server had dropped off toasty, straight-from-the-oven naan. (The flatbread’s freshness is something other buffets should take note of.)
Yak & Yeti owner Dol Bhattarai, who studied cooking in India and in his native Nepal, deftly blends the two South Asian cuisines—the former tending to be heavy, the latter lighter. Another unique feature is Yak & Yeti’s menu of house-crafted beers, which are brewed at the restaurant’s newer Arvada location. Bhattarai’s seasonal selection of ales are Indian-inspired—for instance, the Himalayan IPA and the popular Chai Milk Stout—and cost $5 for a 16-ounce mug. Craft beer and a well-tended lineup? Now that’s our kind of buffet. 8665 N. Sheridan Blvd., Westminster, 303-426-1976; 7803 Ralston Road, Arvada, 303-431-9000, theyakandyeti.com
—Photography by Katy Steinfort