On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Himalaya owner Kaiser Lashkari joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss his critically acclaimed Indo-Pak restaurant. The chef explains how he got into cooking as well as the career path that led him to open Himalaya in 2004.
Himalaya is one of only two local restaurants featured in the Houston episode of the CNN series Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown. For the first time, Lashkari explains how the show chose to film at his restaurant. (The podcast was taped just days before news on June 8 that Bourdain passed away of an apparent suicide.)
"I will tell you the the secret today, since you asked me," Lashkari says. "I asked the gentleman who was the first point of contact with the show. I said, 'why did you pick us?' He said that he picked this restaurant in particular, because this restaurant had the best reviews and the worst reviews. It was, like, there is a group that hates the ground he walks on, and there is a group that almost worships him. They love him or they hate him. That piqued his curiosity about Himalaya and made him try it."
Lashkari addresses a variety of other topics, including why he's not as worried about competing with other restaurants as he used to be, whether people should take his periodic threats to retire seriously, and what it's like to work alongside his wife Azra every day. Of course, the interview ends with the lightning round.
Prior to Lashkari joining the show, Sandler and Urban Swank blogger Felice Sloan discuss the news of the week. Their topics include the passing of legendary restaurateur Ella Brennan, the exciting lineup for this year's edition of Southern Smoke, and chef Richard Knight's recent departure from Harold's in the Heights. In the restaurants of week segement, they share their experiences at Kulture, the new concept from The Breakfast Klub owner Marcus Davis, and East Hampton Sandwich Co., the recently-opened Dallas-based sandwich shop.