Latest Post

Amber Moon (Burlingame, Calif.)

Nestled in the posh suburban enclave of Burlingame, California was Amber Moon, a Yelp-approved institution populated by at least 50% Indian patrons.  This was a good sign.  The basketball on TV (what?  No Bollywood‽) and the floor tiles that had evidently been installed on the ceiling were a tad disconcerting, but our hopes were high.

It was unlike anything we had seen in the typical seedy Berkeley establishment: the interior was literally antiseptic, there was a classy looking full bar replete with multiple beer taps, and the serving dishes were beautiful.  But upon further examination, the sanitarium-like atmosphere became overwhelming: there was no art on the walls, and only a precious few decorative vases and sculptures sprinkled about.  The bathroom was clean…very clean…TOO clean…kind of like your grandmother’s bathroom.  And there was one light…a single light…like the Sun…a naked, unresolved halogen fount of luminescence…  Is this the only light in the restaurant??  Our heads began to spin…vertigo set in…

Anyway, the food!  Yes, the food.  The papadum wasn’t free ($2), but luckily was toasty and pleasantly salted.  The mango lassi had impressive viscosity, the samosas ($5) were filled with a wonderfully spicy purée, and the pakora, while a little cold, was otherwise excellent.  Neither the mango chutney nor the pickle were free, either (each $2), but again, both were tasty: tangy, salty, sour, and spicy.

As for the mains, the narial chicken ($14) was nice & creamy, with pleasant essence of coconut.  But things went downhill from there…the lamb vindaloo ($14) had good meat and potatoes, but had sauce with negative taste.  Literally the anti-taste…we expected annihilation into pure energy to occur at any moment.  The daal ($9) was cilantro-flavored gruel.  It looked like American corn chowder.  It was not good.  And not spicy.  The garlic naan ($2) was garlicky, but very doughy.  The kabuli naan ($4) was filled with dastardly cherry pie filling, which we hadn’t encountered in ages…and the bread was 1 cm thick, and possibly uncooked…  To cap things off, the gulab jamun, unlike at Mount Everest Restaurant in Berkeley, was ball shallow in syrup.  Weak.  

The experience was quite the roller coaster: from entering the cleanest Indian restaurant in the Lower 48 to being annihilated by utter lack of vindaloo flavor.  As a result, we bestow three samosas (▲▲▲)—not great considering the two-rupee (₨ ₨) Peninsula prices.  While it is true that you may be bathed in halogen Sunlight during your dining experience, you may not, alas, be over the Moon…

Thanks to Jenn, Jill, and Patrick, the Road Review crew in Burlingame, Calif.!

Note: Amber Moon has moved to San Mateo, and may or may not now be called Clear Moon.  It is…unclear…

Name: Amber Moon
Address: 78 E 3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401
Phone: (650) 343-1000
Website: ambermoonrestaurant.com
Our Yelp review
Delivery: No

CAMBRIDGE + SOMERVILLE REVIEWS

BERKELEY REVIEWS

GLOBAL REVIEWS

RATINGS (CAMBRIDGE + SOMERVILLE)

Dosa-n-Curry
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Tanjore
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Punjabi Dhaba
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨

Frozen Yogi
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨

Shalimar of India
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Dosa Factory
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨ ₨

RATINGS (GLOBAL)

Udupi Bhavan (Middletown, Conn.)
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Whip In (Austin, Tex.)
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Bhanu’s Indian Grocery and Cuisine (San Gabriel, Calif.)
Rating: ▲▲▲▲▲
Price: ₨

Little India Restaurant (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

India Quality (Boston, Mass.)
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Amber Moon (Burlingame, Calif.)
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

RATINGS (BERKELEY)

Hare Krishna Temple (ISKCON Berkeley)
Rating: ▲▲▲▲▲
Price: ₨–

Indus Village Restaurant
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨

East Bay Spice Company
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

K.P. Café
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Bombay Cuisine
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Vik's Chaat Corner
Rating: ▲▲▲▲▲
Price: ₨ ₨

Yak 'n' Yeti (now Chulo)
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

House of Curries (College)
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨ ₨

India Chaat & Sweets
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Tikka Korner
Rating: ▲△△△△
Price: ₨

Kabana Restaurant
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Chaat Café
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Mehak Indian Cuisine
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Viceroy
Rating: ▲△△△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Namaste Madras Cuisine
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨

Punjabi by Nature
Rating: ▲△△△△
Price: ₨

Priya Indian Cuisine
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨

Mint Leaf Indian Bistro
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨+

Everest Cafe
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨

Khana Peena Indian Cuisine
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨

Ajanta
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨+

Breads of India & Gourmet Curries
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Zaika
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨

Mount Everest Restaurant
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨

Biryani House
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨

Himalayan Flavors
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨

Flavors of India
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨

Udupi Palace
Rating: ▲▲▲▲▲
Price: ₨ ₨

Naan 'N' Curry
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨

House of Curries (Durant)
Rating: ▲▲△△△
Price: ₨

Taste of the Himalayas
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨ ₨ ₨+

Urbann Turbann
Rating: ▲▲▲▲△
Price: ₨

Indian Flavor Express
Rating: ▲▲▲△△
Price: ₨

LEGEND

▲▲▲▲▲ — Exquisite
Worthy of out-of-town guests.

▲▲▲▲△ — Very good
To be sought out if at all possible.

▲▲▲△△ — Acceptable
A reasonable choice if no four-samosa restaurant is nearby.

▲▲△△△ — Bad
The food won't kill you, but you should never choose to eat here.

▲△△△△ — Horrible
The food may kill you. Never eat here. Choose starvation instead.

₨ ₨ ₨ — Pricey ( > $20 / person )
₨ ₨ — Average ( $15 / person )
₨ — Cheap ( $10 / person )

Note that the above prices apply to Berkeley. A per-person increase of $5-10 can be expected in pricier Cambridge and Somerville.

POPULARITY

  • 8,872 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 942 other followers

%d bloggers like this: