A former Buddhist monk named Lekay Drakpa is the owner of a new Bhutanese restaurant in Queens, New York that opened on Monday, December 15, reports DNAInfo. Drakpa had previously spent six years as a Subway sandwich maker and before that, dedicated 12 years studying to be a monk in India.
Drakpa told DNAInfo that his menu of Bhutanese cuisine is mostly dedicated to food that is “very simple, mostly really spicy.” The restaurant also features Indian and Tibetan options.
Drakpa also claims his newly opened restaurant, Bhutanese Ema Datsi, is the only New York City establishment that focuses on food from the small kingdom of Bhutan, though there is at least one other Himalayan restaurant in Queens.
The restaurant is named for ema datshi, one of Bhutan’s national dishes, which is made from chile peppers and cheese.
The new restaurateur told the publication that he hopes to create a home for Bhutanese immigrants and others interested in the culture and food of Bhutan.