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Best Indian (With Tablecloths) San Francisco 2004 - Amber India

Amber India

Amber India

2290 El Camino Real

Mountain View, CA 94040

650-968-7511

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It's worth the trek down the Peninsula to savor Amber India's famous velvety butter chicken, as well as its other uniformly well-cooked specialties, in its comfortable, nicely decorated rooms. The lunch buffet is an amazing bargain at $11.50, including nearly a dozen hot dishes, several cold salads and savories, sliced fruits, and rice pudding. Among the best dishes on the dinner menu are naryal saar, a fragrant brothy soup full of sliced mushrooms and scented with coconut, basil, and ginger; plump, moist tandoori chicken; spicy fish tikka, big slabs of Chilean sea bass still custardy at the center under their crisp exteriors; and two unusual and exciting lamb curries, chandani gosht, in which the lamb is bathed in a mild, thick ground-almond sauce scented with cardamom, and mirch la gosht, a hotter dish, with a dark sauce redolent of peppercorns and green chiles. Vegetarian delights include dal bukhara (lentils cooked with cream and tomatoes), baingan bharta (a pur?e of eggplant stewed with cream), and our favorite, pindi chole (toothy, hot-spiced chickpeas coated with mango powder). Part of the pleasure, especially on weekends, is taking in the colorful fashion show provided by the silky saris and pantsuits of Amber India's clientele.

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