When you're craving Asian food, Windsor is the perfect destination, rich with choices. Located just off Highway 101 between Healdsburg and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, the town boasts a variety of restaurants showcasing Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and the Indian flavors of south Asia.
Enjoy beloved classic dishes like tikka masala, vindaloo, chyan, and saag at the Himalayan Restaurant (810 McClelland Drive, Windsor, 707-838-6746).
Chef-owner Rabin Dhoj Lama presents an expansive menu ranging across Nepal and South Asia, with a few California twists like a Sonoma salad of mozzarella, avocado, and tomato, or ginger-marinated salmon kabobs.
For two particularly toothsome dishes, lamb makhani brings the tender meat bathed in thick, buttery gravy, while chicken chyau is cooked in mushrooms and rich tomato sauce.
For a taste of all cuisines in one setting, Chinois Asian Bistro (186 Windsor River Road, Windsor, 707-838-4667), just a block away from the Town Green, delivers a delicious romp through Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Filipino, Hong Kong-style, and Malaysian specialties.
It’s all a step above the ordinary. Spring rolls come plump with crispy roast duck and cool cucumber, while ahi tartare presents ruby red cubes of fish jewel-brilliant, glistening in sesame ponzu and scattered in paper-thin taro chips. The mood even feels modern, with red column lanterns and a long row of charcoal banquettes, growing even prettier when the Thai green mango salad arrives in a portrait of julienne vegetable curls, cilantro, scallions, sprouts, peanuts, and prawns.
Be sure to try the dim sum, too, like Day Break Radish Cake, four fluffy slabs of crisp-edged French toast-like bread that’s peppery-sharp with radish and tamed with a thick, sweet soy syrup.
A local favorite for many, the family owned and operated Tomi Thai (426 Emily Rose Circle, Windsor, 707-836-1422) offers classic Thai food with vegetarian and vegan options, and a selection of local wines. The dining room is relatively cozy (small), so get there early or expect to wait.
“Umé” (pronounced “oo – may”) is Japanese for plum, which is associated with the start of spring, signifying new beginnings. Umé Japanese Bistro (8710 Old Redwood Highway, Windsor, 707-838-6700) represented a new beginning when it was founded in 2005. Its master chefs use the freshest premium-grade fish to create artful sushi and sashimi. The menu also includes non-sushi dishes, like grilled steak and fish, tempura, and eclectic appetizers from the “Umé Favorites” section.
In honor of their 85-year-old Grandma Qimura, this restaurant owned by her grandchildren features her fabulous recipes, developed over decades of cooking for her family and her customers. Qimura Japanese Restaurant (8960 Brooks Road South, Windsor, 707-836-1699) offers a wide variety of shusi, ramen, don, and Chirashi bowls.
Find your favorite Chinese dishes at the family-style Yinkeng Restaurant (8840 Lakewood Drive, Windsor, 707-838-2101). Signature dishes include Roast Duck and the Sizzling Seafood Platter.