Sunday, February 11, 2007

Best Restaurants - San Diego ( Earlier was - View of downtown San Diego at night)

When I started off this post, I wanted to write about this wonderful restaurant Sunit and I went to over the weekend - Bertrand at Mister A's. And the even better view the place afforded of downtown San Diego at night. But as I looked at the post closer, it looked more like a best restaurant guide for San Diego. So I went ahead and changed the title.

Remember, I am a vegetarian so most of the recommendations are based on the vegetarian fare these places afford. Plus I have a sweet tooth - so sumptuous desserts are a must for any place that I must like.

Bertrand at Mr A's - We went to celebrate a special occasion. A pretty formal place where most people (including those waiting upon you) are dressed in suits. We started off with a Cream of Artichoke soup which quite frankly was the best part of the meal for me. They have an extensive wine list which was difficult to sift through. But their veggie tempuras were pretty much like the pakoras in India. And the white and dark chocolate mousse bars were good to taste and great to look at with all the chocolate curls topping the bars.

For the best desserts in San Diego, its definitely "Extraordinary Desserts" by Karen Krasne. Generally crowded so expect to stand in a line. And if you are lucky and torta-misu is on the menu, don't miss it.

For fusion cuisine, I like Kemo Sabe - their crusted brie appetizer is something to die for. And their creme brulee is great (both to eat and look at)

Then there is Parallel 33 - it serves fusion cuisine from countries located on the 33rd parallel. The food is good, especially their lentil soup. And for dessert, their Meqdool date madeleines served with rose ice-cream should definitely not be missed.

And among the italian fares, there is La Dolce Vita in La Jolla downtown. It has a very nice ambience, you can sit outside on their patio by the fountain and sometimes you will have live italian songs being sung.

Ok, so you get it - I could carry on and on and this list would not end. I live to eat. But this recent trip to Bertrand, their food and the downtown view from there did make me think that San Diego has a lot, a good lot infact, to offer in terms of eating choices.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Sheesh Mahal at Amer Fort

One thing we regretted during our visit to the Amer Fort was not taking a guide outside. We were convinced we would find one inside at a lower rate. As luck would have it, we did not find one inside. So as we moved from one part of the fort to the other we had no idea of what it was we were actually looking at or what the stories behind the walls were.

My husband and brother-in-law, however, resorted to a sneaky way of getting the information. In order to catch snippets of guide talk, they would walk close to the guides who were with other people and try to eavesdrop on their stories.

And it is through this channel that we found that the chambers we had been marvelling at the most were those of the "Sheesh Mahal" - some sort of victory hall.

While there is no more information I have on these halls, I really did like 2 particular sections - one was the mirror inlaid walls and ceiling and the other one was the wall with the painted blue and yellow vases.

What would be really good though is if these places could provide some sort of pamphlet (along with the entry tickets) talking about the history and significance of the site. I know - that would still not provide all the juicy, fictitious stories that get passed from one generation of guides to the other, but it would atleast give some historical facts on the place.