Monday, March 17, 2008
Cafe Tibet has always been my favorite Berkeley eatery. Yes, I have been to Chez Panisse too. Cafe Tibet is literally like entering another world, from the moment you walk in and see the prayer wheel spinning on the front table, hear the Buddhist chants in the background and if you get close, feel the mist from the small fountain. You can peruse the menu page 1, and page 2 which is maintained on line by the Tibetan Association of Northern California, and see for yourself the myriad of authentic choices. I celebrated here in 2004 upon passing Ground School in pursuit of a pilot's license, which was much fun (both the food and the flying)!
Daniel was my dining companion for the evening, and we each started with a lassi, he a mango, and I a strawberry, just because.
The lighting was warm and ambient as well.
Daniel enjoyed Luk-sha She-dre, a Tibetan gourmet boneless lamb curries with mixed vegetables. He said it was great.
His accompaniment was some organic Bhutanese brown rice. It smelled nutty and rich.
With the soup I ordered, I tried the Tingmo, steamed Tibetan bread mildly seasoned with fresh garlic. It was as I remembered it, a unique soft bread with a shiny exterior and very faint taste of garlic.
With my bread, I had Then-thuk, a regional Amdo specialty, Hand pulled flat pasta simmered with tofu, daikon, onion, tomato, garlic and ginger in flavorful broth. The pasta was so fresh, it was amazing. According to the owner, the people of Amdo like this so much they do not hesitate to eat it for any meal, even breakfast! Amdo is one of the three provinces of Tibet and is renowned for its scholarship and monasteries. It was quite thick with ingredient so it held its heat, so I had to eat it slowly and savor. It's still my favorite place in Berkeley.