Monday, October 31, 2011

Breath Of Fresh Air

I've done beer reviews here, but this is the first restaurant review...

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured up into the San Bernardino Mountains to get away for an afternoon and do some research. So, I headed to Big Bear, having recently hitting the Arrowhead Oktoberfest for a beer and brat. It was a very nice day up in the mountains, much cooler than down in the valley. I rolled into Big Bear Village hoping for something interesting for a late lunch, but was disappointed to find a bunch of Mexican restaurants. I like Mexican food, but I get plenty of that down the hill. There were only one or two Italian restaurants, and only one German, which surprised me, considering the history of the mountain villages. Ideally, a Swiss restaurant would be perfect up there, as it is an alpine forest environment, but that's asking too much, apparently. What was I to do? Clearly the ski freak tattooed bros and their insipid hole-punches won this battle, for nothing says 'flatlander from LA or Orange County' like nachos and beer and tacos. It looked like I was just going to have to go down the hill to find something I'd like.

And there it was!

I couldn't believe it. An Indian/Nepalese restaurant in Big Bear Village!

The Himalayan Restaurant is everything I'd hoped to find that day. Being an adventure guy, the place offered one of my favorite cuisines in an atmosphere perfect to my tastes. The employees were all authentic, too. No white guys in silk shirts (as I have encountered in Sarajevo Chinese restaurants...), nor Latinos passing themselves off as Nepalese. The food and presentation were the real deal and real delicious! I had a basic Tandoori chicken platter, fresh nan bread, and a tasty spicy lemonade. The decor made me forget I was in California for an hour. Not only is the restaurant nicely appointed, there is a Tibetan/Nepalese gift shop and a classic explorers lounge bar called 'The Bombay Club'. The best part is that every table filled and more people were lining up outside, while I was there.

If you find yourself in the San Bernardino Mountains and you just can't take another Mexican restaurant, I recommend The Himalayan Restaurant...I know I will be going back very soon!

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