Restaurateur Vijay Bist’s Amber brand has been gracing Northern Cali with his own particular exotic cuisine since 1994. His newest venture Amber Dhara is a two-level sleek and sexy 6,000-square-foot restaurant with lots of bright yellow and orange-colored walls.
Located on the Mission’s buzzing Valencia Street, with Luna Park as its neighbor, Dhara appeals to the eating and drinking crowd, as the ground floor lounge area is for cocktail drinking (grab the enlightening Chakratini), while the upstairs is for eating sophisticated, affordable Indian small plates.
If you haven’t been to Valencia, you haven’t been to Spain. The sunny city introduced paella to the world, boasts sprawling hot beaches (with equally hot half-naked Spaniards), and gave birth to famous architect Santiago Calatrava. Cafes line cobblestone streets, centuries-old Gothic and Renaissance buildings command your attention, and the Holy Grail is said to reside here (you be the judge when you visit the Cathedral). Oh, and Valencia is also the city where I had my first threesome. Fond memories abound. I don’t expect such exciting experiences with every visit, but it’s easy being a tourist there in that ‘fresh meat’ kind of way, as the city doesn’t get as many foreign visitors as Madrid or Barcelona. So it’s with a mixture of eagerness and regret that this gem of a town will soon be connected to Spain’s capital via high-speed train.
A new line on Spain’s high-speed rail service, AVE, will debut December 19, cutting travel time by two and half hours. Instead of the usual whopping four-hour commute, you’ll be able to get to Valencia in 90 minutes. The train will run about 20 times a day at 200 miles per hour, so I imagine the service is expecting an eager amount of traffic, especially during the summer months, when the city is already packed with beach-seeking Madrileños. Could Valencia be the new Ibiza? Probably not, but the sex was good.