The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

The Student News Site of University of Texas at Arlington (Department of Communication)

Lone Star Sentinel

Taípo brings a taste of Nepal to city

Best friends knew they wanted college town restaurant
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Mia Medellin
Taípo owners Rachel Puri Zaimba and Riza Rawal knew they wanted to open their business in a college town, and they chose Arlington, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas—A brand new concept came to downtown Arlington in December when Taípo, a Nepali restaurant owned by best friends Rachel Puri Zaimba and Riza Rawal, opened its doors at 200 E. Abram St.

The two natives of Nepal wanted to bring a taste of their home to the city.

Zaimba and Rawal have been friends since 2016, and they’ve wanted to open a business together almost from the start.

A sign inside Taípo scrolls through inspirational sayings.

At the peak of the pandemic, Taípo began its early phase of scouting locations. Zaimba said she knew she wanted the business to be near a college town.

“I lived in a college town in [Washington] D.C., and because of that, I always thought being around a college area was good because we both knew what it was like to be college students,” Zaimba said.

Taípo is a dish on their menu but also the name of the restaurant, and it has a background of meaning.

“It actually comes from one of our dishes, Taípo,” Zaimba said. “My mom is from this small town that is like a bordering town in between India and Nepal. It’s a very specific dish to that area. It’s basically like a big dumpling.”

Walking into Taípo, visitors are struck by the color, Tiffany blue, that immediately demands attention. When choosing a color for Taípo, Rawal and Zaimba said they wanted to make a brand, not a restaurant, and they wanted to grow.

Taípo owners Rachel Puri Zaimba and Riza Rawal purposefully chose a distinctive color–Tiffany blue–for their restaurant.

“We wanted to play with two colors max so it’s easy for people to remember,” Zaimba said. “While we were playing with the colors, this is just one of the colors we felt not many people had.”

The welcoming atmosphere is not the only thing people notice about this restaurant. Customer Sabriana Torabi said she loved the decoration but most importantly the service.

“As a mom of a 1 and a 4-year-old, I don’t get to go out much,” Torabi said. “So if I do get to go out, I want to be in a place that doesn’t remind me that I am a mom. [Going there] felt like I was treating myself.”

Torabi said when she and her husband left Taípo, they felt appreciated.

“When I left, they were saying bye, Sabrina, bye, Aydn—they remembered [our names],” Torabi said. “We don’t get to go out much, and that was our first date night in like a year.”

In addition to its welcoming atmosphere, Taípo has a mission of giving back, both locally and internationally. For example, since being open, Taípo has installed two automated feeders for street dogs back home in Nepal.

“Riza and I are big dog lovers,” Zaimba said. “When we were starting Taípo as a brand, we always wanted to have a social cause behind it.”

In addition to taking care of dogs in Nepal, Zaimba and Rawal offer college students 10% of all lunch orders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All students have to do is show their University of Texas at Arlington student ID. Many students, like Alejandro Tamez, appreciate the savings.

University of Texas at Arlington students presenting a student ID can get a 10% discount between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

“I love shopping small, and this is no exception,” Tamez said. “Taípo offering a discount to students means convenience through location, as it is downtown, and convenience of my wallet. It’s a win-win situation, and now definitely a go-to spot for my lunch study hour.”

Being a part of student government, Tamez has developed the ability to see the big picture. He said he believes that Taípo’s addition to downtown allows for more students to venture out and try something beyond their comfort zone.

“I think that Taípo is a needed addition to downtown Arlington,” Tamez said. “Accessible Nepalese food isn’t always a first thought, but with UTA’s diverse population, and many students hailing from Nepal, it’s about time that we bring restaurant representation of that culture to the Arlington area. Also, the later hours, convenient location, and more make Taípo a great spot for the UTA student to enjoy a bite to eat whenever it’s most convenient to them.”

Taípo is located at 200 E. Abram St. in suite 140. Its scheduled hours are from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday. Taípo welcomes dogs to its outside dining area, and the restaurant has a speakeasy inside—Taípo Behind the Door—where diners can enjoy both cocktails and food.

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