A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Review: Kafal Restaurant

Sarah Montano
Chana masala, brown basmati rice and naan bread topped with cilantro chutney – reheated the next day for a perfect vegan lunch.

Kafal Restaurant | 535 Ross St, Santa Rosa | (707) 595-3311 | Most entrees under $20

4 of 5 Oak Leaves

Signature Dishes

Appetizer: samosa, spinach naan
Main dishes: tikka masala, tandoori chicken, veggie mo mo (dumplings), palak paneer, garlic naan
Drinks: mango lassi


Kafal is a Nepalese restaurant that sits across the Santa Rosa Plaza mall on Ross Street. Nepalese food is similar to Indian with spicy curries, turmeric, flatbreads and rice but is generally less spicy and considered healthier with its own traditional dishes. With many options for vegans, it’s a great downtown spot when often the only vegan food around is french fries.

The food arrives on time, an hour after ordering online. Take-out orders are packaged neatly in plastic containers, with the warm naan bread wrapped in foil and the veggie appetizer combo in a grease stained paper bag. There is an option online to disclude plastic utensils and napkins — a step toward sustainability and eco-friendly packaging.

The authentic tama aloo soup is hearty and flavorful, filled with black-eyed peas in a tomato base and adds a unique flavor with its crisp yet tender bamboo shoots. In addition, it’s vegan, which makes this a personal favorite.

Sarah Montano
Listed clockwise from lower left: palak paneer, tama aloo soup, chana masala, cilantro chutney, brown basmati rice, carrot pudding and rice pudding. The plate contains naan bread and the veggie appetizer combo.

The palak paneer, listed under the restaurant’s popular menu items, offers a rich and creamy spinach sauce with cubes of chhurpi, a traditional cheese consumed in the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet.

The chana masala entree is a rich dish of chickpeas and vegetables in a flavorful sauce with North Indian spices. Combined with basmati rice and naan bread, this is another tasty vegan meal.

For $2.99 Kafal provides an entire container of cilantro chutney or another condiment of choice. It is a great topping for the naan bread and can be added to just about everything. The fresh yet spicy chutney cuts through the rich entrees.

The homemade carrot pudding is the favorite dessert, although a bit too sweet for some samplers. The rice pudding, flavored with cardamom, tastes like a chai latte. While the flavor is a refreshing end to the meal, it is more of a runny soup with gritty rice than a pudding.

Kafal’s flavorful vegan food is definitely something to order again.

The Breakdown

Category What were we looking for? Score out of 5
Packaging Neat? Sustainable? Did they remember cutlery? Napkins? Condiments? 4
Hygiene Was clerk wearing gloves? A mask? Both? Neither? What were the pick up and waiting areas like? Clean/neat? 5
Speed and accuracy Food was on counter ready for pickup 5
Portion size Was it filling or were you left wanting more? 5
Leftovers Were there leftovers and, if so, did they reheat well? 5
Quality of Food Freshness, quality of ingredients 4
Tastiness of Food Flavor, spice and texture 4
Customer Service Friendliness, responsiveness 5
Overall Rating With 5 being a perfect score, this restaurant rated: 4

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About the Contributor
Sarah Montano
Sarah Montano, Staff Writer
Sarah Montano is a first-semester staff writer at The Oak Leaf, but has been a freelance photographer since 2012. She is passionate about photography and uncovering the story behind each image. Sarah is on a journey to find her purpose in life both for her own fulfillment and as a single mom who wants to set a strong example for her 3-year-old daughter.

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