Restaurant Week Review: Yeti

I wasted no time whatsoever diving mouth-first into this year’s Sonoma County Restaurant Week, and promptly at lunchtime on Monday afternoon found myself at Yeti Indian and Nepalese Restaurant, in Santa Rosa.

I’ve been wanting to try this place for while, but their location is a bit odd, albeit incredibly convenient in the grand scheme of things. At the intersection of Farmer’s Lane and Highway 12, this bright yellow building exudes a welcoming cheeriness, while inside the space is invitingly dark, with dark wood, rich red and gold upholstery, and a friendly, professional staff.

I ordered the Yeti Special Lunch Set, which allowed me to sample several different items in smaller portions. First came a perfect little salad, which looked as though it had been prepared by salad fairies, each with their own special job: this one adds the slice of avocado; this one adds the fancy-cut cucumber, and so on. All of it was topped with a delicious homemade mustard dressing, made with mustard (obviously), vinegar, garlic, honey and mint, which gave this simple salad a satisfying nudge into the ‘beyond ordinary’ category.

Next came the Mulligatawny style Dal Pot soup. This small bowl of pureed lentil, cream and spiced vegetables was packed full of flavor with just the right amount of kick to make me perk up and take notice, without hurting my taste buds.

As for the Lunch Set itself – because the soup and salad were an added bonus yaaaaaay! – everything was beautifully presented, and delicious. The lightly-buttered naan was soft, warm, and therefore the perfect scooping vessel for the smaller dishes. Yes, I used a fork as well…sometimes. The Dal Bukhara (lentils) were simple and paired nicely with the perfectly cooked rice; the vegetables curry dish managed to pack an impressive variety of vegetables into such a small dish, and my favorite Indian dish, Saag Paneer (creamy spinach curry with homemade farmer’s cheese) disappeared faster than I’d care to admit here.

But let’s talk for just a moment about the chicken. Anyone who has ever tried to feed me knows that I shy away from meat involving bones or being eaten with my hands. I’m just a low-maintenance food eating kind of gal. But for the sake of a full review for you, dear readers, I picked up a leg of Tandoori Chicken, bit in, and am forever a changed woman. Bursting with flavor and fall-off-the-bone tender, this was by far the best chicken I have ever tried. In short order I’d abandoned the proper use of utensils and was tearing away at this delicacy like it was caveman times again. I’d do it again, too.

After this herculean amount of eating, I didn’t think I had space for the surprise dessert which had also come as a bonus to the meal, but again: full review – you’re welcome. I was delighted after the first bite to discover that it was a very delicate dish of fresh apples in a light yogurt; a perfect, light way to end the meal.

I was so thrilled for the chance to try Yeti Restaurant, and cannot wait to return. Considering they are open 7 days a week from 11:30am – 3pm for lunch and 5pm – 9:30 for dinner, this should be easy. A few other notes to keep in mind are their buffet, offered on Saturdays and Sundays, and their daily Happy Hour from 4 – 6, offering $4 and $5 drinks, and appetizers ranging from $5 – $7.

And of course, open all week for Sonoma County Restaurant Week, offering $15 lunch specials, and $29 dinner specials!

Yeti Restaurant
190 Farmers Lane (near the Flamingo Hotel)
Santa Rosa, CA 95405


Draw Freely and Leave An Exquisite Corpse

With so much creative talent here in Santa Rosa, it should come as no surprise during your evening stroll to stumble upon a gaggle of friends and strangers having fun with...well, art.

This was the case recently when Sprenger’s Tap Room (446 B Street) welcomed a large group of locals to their outdoor beer garden patio. Adults and kids sat around tables covered with paper, pens, markers, crayons and cut-up pictures to play Exquisite Corpse, a collaborative game originally played with poetry dating back to the Parisian Surrealist Movement, but in modern times is often found being played with drawing.

exq1

The concept is simple: fold a piece of paper into thirds, draw either a head at the top, a torso in the middle, or legs on the bottom. Pass your paper to someone else, where they will NOT PEEK at what else has been drawn, and will fill in one of the blank spots...so on and so forth. The result is a mish-mash of artistic styles creating one finished piece, coming from seasoned artists, whimsical creatives, eccentric doodlers, and painfully-untalented random people who appear to be lost, such as myself. (Side note: I apologize to anyone who got a cloud, egg, or box as a torso in their overall drawing.)

Anyone can organize an Exquisite Corpse event, whether it’s around your kitchen table with friends, or on a larger scale with community members. The event I participated in was organized by local champion of the arts Spring Maxfield who, through Facebook and word-of-mouth, managed to throw together familiar faces as well as many who had never before met...including a few people right off the street who saw what was going on and were welcomed to join in the fun.

IMG_2019 Sponsored in part by Riley Street Art Supply (103 Maxwell Court), the paper, art supplies, beers and burgers needed to fuel this casual evening event covered several of the large tables along Sprenger’s B Street patio, and invited questions and conversation between fellow tablemates, and strangers walking by alike.

In short, it was a perfect Santa Rosa evening.

What are your favorite group games to play? Tell us in the comments, and be on the lookout for more group events like these around town!


Shop Arty

With the season of gift-giving (and therefore buying) in full swing, we would be remiss if we didn’t give you some shopping ideas. And who better to point your hard-earned dollars toward than our local artists at the annual Shop Party?

On Sunday, December 18th, Santa Rosa’s annual Shop Party once again gathers together some incredible artists and makers in one spot to make your shopping easier.

Shop Party started in 2010 when friends Meredith Jayne Lenci and Olivia Browning saw the need for an outlet for creative types to sell their work to the community. “Buying a gift from one of these vendors literally puts food on some of our neighbors’ tables,” said Lenci. “That feels like a small victory to me.”

Here are just a few dynamic examples of the massive amounts of handcrafted talent to be found:

Jo Collins, owner of Mojo Soaps, likes to live a bit on the edge, and her badass soaps show it. “I almost always make my soap barefoot (safety be damned) in my kitchen with punk rock on louder than my neighbors would like – I give them soap to forgive me,” said Collins. “What I love about cold-process soap making is that it’s a combination of chemistry and art, and it’s just a little bit dangerous (lye can burn!). Precise measurement is important, just like in baking, but experimentation is fun and some of my favorite soaps have been “accidents”.”

For over 10 years Jo, who is also a personal trainer and bartender here in Santa Rosa, has been mastering the art of soap making using organic vegetable and essential oils, as well as natural colorants. Specializing in beer and coffee soaps – which means basically I’m done with my holiday shopping because she’s rocking all of the perfect things all at the same time – Mojo also makes beard oils, beard balms, solid lotion bars, lip scrubs, lip balm and whatever other body products intrigue her at the moment. “I used to buy handmade soap wherever I could find it and then begged until I found someone willing to teach me how to do it myself,” she said. “I began gifting my soaps to friends, family and clients, and gradually began selling it.”

Karen Silberg of Karen Silberg Ceramics, spins out some gorgeous pottery in her home studio. “The first time I touched clay was almost 4 years ago during a time when I really needed my heart to be filled. I poured myself into it, making friends and creating timeless functional pieces.”

Since that time, Karen has taken her passion out into the world using Periscope, a live video streaming website and app which allows her thousands of followers to watch her work on the wheel in real time, as well as interact and ask questions. After being gifted a ‘Karen’ mug several years ago and buying another recently, I can say with hot-drink confidence that she 100 percent makes the perfect mug. You should pick up a few for grandma, for dad, for me…I mean, whoever comes to mind. No pressure.

Gina Glomb of Talking Tree Designs is a self-taught metalsmith and jeweler who has worked with feathers, beads, recycled brass, leather, and more over the past several years, focusing now more on silver, gold and gemstones. Having slowly built her own metal studio piece by piece using any profits she made from selling her unique jewelry, Gina is thrilled and grateful for all of the trials and errors that have come along with making art.

“Many late nights and early mornings trying to balance being a mother/wife/artist has not been easy, but it has been worth it,” said Glomb. “Sure, there are callouses, cuts, burns and blisters. There are stones that crack at the last possible moment and ruin your whole project. But I am fully aware of the magic in this life every time I can create with my hands what I see in my mind. It is even more incredible when my vision is accepted by others!”

Finally, we mustn’t forget the florals. Venn Floral specializes in natural, expressive, garden-inspired creations using environmentally responsible floral design. Committed to sourcing the finest quality sustainable materials with which to manifest their gorgeous works of art, Sonoma County natives Heather Frye and Camille Rowan-White work closely with local farmers and gardeners. While their work is most often found at events and weddings, they do sometimes participate in pop-up sales and workshops as well. For these they branch out (see what I did there?) to create original works inspired by their obsession for plants, and informed by their art practices.

“You might say we have an insatiable curiosity for the natural world,” Frye said, “and are always looking to incorporate that in our work…naturally. Ha!” (The ‘ha’ was hers and, given my love of ‘ha’s’, I felt it was only proper to include it). Driftwood, dried flowers and mossy branches are some of the favorite materials being used this time of year.

At Shop Party, expect to find barnwood boxes – hand-built by the ladies – to use as centerpieces, mantles, welcome displays, or anything else you find yourself in need of a barnwood box for. Also air plants, wreaths and other long-lasting decorative botanical creations.

“Many of our designs are meant to span the seasons, and can be used as decoration throughout the year – no expiration date!”

This year’s Shop Party is supporting Food Not Bombs, a vital organization that makes free hot meals and serves them in downtown Santa Rosa, to anyone in need, every Sunday evening. So, stop by to shop, to snack, to compliment your local artist, and to feel good about every second of it.

Shop Party – December 18th, 11am – 3pm at the Saturday Afternoon Club, 430 10th Street, Santa Rosa, 95401

Food Not Bombs – Sundays 5 – 7 Prince Gateway Park


The Russian Nesting Dolls
Are Coming

Hurry over to Brew this Friday, December 16th for the annual Matryoshka show.

I’m not gonna lie - this is my favorite time of year. My calendar is jam-packed with craft fairs, art shows, and every kind of perfect holiday community-gathering event one can think of. A new favorite is the Matryoshka Show!

Once again filling the warm walls of Santa Rosa’s favorite little coffee and beer hub, Brew, these creatively painted Russian nesting dolls will be on display and for sale on December 16th, from 6pm until 10pm. With nearly 30 different artists taking part in this year’s show, event creator Melinda Sterne is excited to see what they come up with.

The event is one night only, and was created with the purpose of putting cool art out there into the world during the holiday season, when people are looking for unique and handcrafted gifts. Each set of dolls is set up for bidding, which is actually pretty dangerous for me because I am a very competitive person. Luckily, 100% of the proceeds go back to the artists, so we can all feel good about our bidding war antics. Or, mine. I try all of the antics.

This year’s Matryoshka Doll event features an impressive lineup of both professional artists and makers, as well as those who like to dabble and had their interests sparked after attending last year’s event. The dolls will be as varied as the styles and imaginations of their painters, and you will not want to miss your chance to take one home. While you peruse and plan your bid, don’t forget that Brew not only serves coffee, tea and other non-alcoholic beverages, they also have a great selection of beer and wine, as well as food! Try their avocado toast. Trust me - it’s deeeeelish.

See you on the 16th!

Matryoshka Show location:
Brew, 555 Healdsburg Ave, Santa Rosa 95401
Event info on Facebook - HERE

Featuring:

  • Aaron Lucey
  • Adriana Roberts
  • Amanda Filippetti
  • Anthony Celeri
  • Asher Katz
  • Bonanza Mazur
  • Commodore Saxon Warrik Kingmaker
  • Eric Thomas Bostrom
  • Erin Opperman
  • Gabe Katz
  • Gary LaBonte
  • Gregory Thompson
  • Hannah Cadigan
  • Jan Zeitlin
  • JP87CENTS
  • Julia Reid
  • Julian Paris
  • Loren Butchart
  • Loren Hansen
  • Lydia Fossgreen
  • Matt Cadigan
  • Merisha Lemmer
  • Mr. Hensen
  • Nicholas Haig-Arack
  • Ruth Alison Donovan
  • Ryan Taylor
  • Soli
  • Venka Workshop