Getting Gyatak at Annapurna

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Dish: Gyatak Noodle Soup

Place: Annapurna Cafe, Capitol Hill

Price: $9.95

In the bowl: Egg noodles, a few pieces of lamb, onions, scallions (advertised, but not to be found), tomato, fried egg--and a piece of broccoli.

Supporting cast: Nothing. But you should get an order of naan. (See below.)

What to do: Eat away.

Noodling around: Annapurna Cafe bills itself as serving "the mesmerizing taste of Nepal, India, and Tibet under one roof."

With that wisdom in mind, my dining companion and I ordered one Nepalese soup and one Tibetan soup. Hers: Kathmandu noodle soup, a rather bland but somewhat comforting chicken soup. I would have liked to steal its thick noodles to put in my Gyatak noodle soup, which featured egg noodles softer than I like.

But the broth was good, alive with garlic and onions and a little taste of tomato. The best part was the pieces of oh-so-tender lamb, providing just enough bite to make up for the soft noodles. For some reason, I thought "topped with fried eggs" meant I'd see something sunny-side-up floating in the soup, but instead it turned out to be omelette strips sitting slightly submerged, but still adding eggy goodness.

If you want more: Annapurna has a decent selection of breads, including roti, poori, kulcha, and paratha. And while there are a few naan offerings to complement the soup in your comfort meal, I recommend the simple naan ($1.95). If you think you'll still be hungry, then how about a set of six spinach momo dumplings ($7.25)?

Be aware/beware: Here's your homework assignment: Find out what "Gyatak" means. I've asked a few times (onsite and by phone), and the best answer I get is "something Tibetan." If you do an Internet search, Gyatak will inevitably lead you back to Annapurna's website. The most creative I got was putting "Gyatak" into anagram analysis, and all that came back was "tag yak"--which actually sounds like something I might want to do in Nepal, India, or Tibet.

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