Psychologists call a song that gets stuck in your head an “earworm.” I have a similar issue, but it usually pertains to food. So, when a co-worker told me about a delicious Nepalese dinner he had just enjoyed the night before, I could no longer focus on anything else. Imagine my co-worker’s surprise—and chagrin—when four hours later we found ourselves right where he was the previous night, at San Pedro Square Market in front of Urban Momo, the 3-month-old halal Nepalese food stand.

Nepalese food is a bit of a mystery to most diners, as they wonder is it Chinese? Is it Indian? The answer: yes. Nepalese food is one of the original fusions, as the landlocked country of Nepal became a delicious nexus for Chinese, Indian and Tibetan cuisine. Their most famous dish, by far, has to be the momo, which is a tasty steamed dumpling filled with all manner of savory and spicy goodies. There are quite a few momo food trucks and pop-up stands throughout the South Bay, but a brick-and-mortar location is quite the rarity.

Wanting to try an assortment of their chow, we ordered up a serving of half chicken, half veggie momos ($11.99); chicken khaja set ($12.99); chicken pakoras ($7) and lastly a mango lassi ($4) to help quench the fire.

The chicken pakora came out first, and the breading was fried crisp but a bit too thick for my liking. However, I did enjoy how thinly they sliced the chicken pieces, as it made it almost flaky—like a nice whitefish.

The chicken khaja set was by far the most interesting dish of the night as it’s served with flattened rice and roasted soybeans. The flattened rice was, um, interesting to say the least. It has a distinct crunch and texture that needs to be tried at least once. The roasted soybeans were toasted and had a nice crunch and flavor. The chicken khaja was a delightful, Indian-spiced dish with tandoori chicken and fresh ginger that produced a symphony of flavors on the taste buds.

Lastly, their signature momos came out freshly steamed and served with a tomato-based achar dipping sauce. The skin on their momos was thick but had a nice density to it, and the fillings were delightful. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, but the veggie was by far the runaway winner; stuffed full of cabbage, garlic, ginger and a spice blend that was, well, spicy. When combined with the achar, it really went from great to fantastic, as it helped blend all the flavors nicely.

Earworms in the form of song can be difficult to squash, but in the form of food they can easily—and deliciously—be vanquished in no time. —John Dyke

Urban Momo  100 N Almaden Ave #176, San Jose. 408.971.1848