Tuesday, May 27, 2008

(05.27.08) Recommends:

Surya India,
8048 W. 3rd St.

We've lived in both the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles. We notice certain differences between the two. There is a certain rivalry between them, though probably not as much as people outside of the two areas would imagine. We've also come to appreciate certain similarities between the two as well. And say what you will about the two areas, but this much is hard to argue with: living in either one is pretty different than living in Kansas.

There are many differences that we expected, and expected to enjoy, before we moved -- the weather, the geographic diversity, the concentration of ambitious young people who flock here from all over the country and world. But these are pretty much the differences that lured us here in the first place. There are also differences that we didn't really think much about, but that we now find ourselves loving and they leave us unable to imagine how we could have gone so long living without them. One of the most pleasantly surprising differences that we've come to love is the diversity of ethnic food. We have never really been Food People; pasta and chicken pretty much got us to our early 20s. And still today, we cannot be considered foodies or food snobs (mostly because we just eat what is put in front of us with little understanding of or regard for the ingredients or how it's put together or the proper verbs used to describe food and ambiance), but we have been surprised to find out how much we love exploring new restaurants, and particularly restaurants that offer cuisine that is rare or non-existent in Kansas, it of the 91% white population.

So this weekend's revelation: bharta. Pardon our French -- we're talking food here, so an illusion to the French somehow seems necessary, right? -- but: Holy Shit. We ordered this, along with three or four other dishes, from Surya and had it delieverd. And when a Fellow Blogger put it on the table it looked to us like a container of tomato puree and we were neither excited with its look nor sure what to do with it. And even now, all we know for sure about bharta is that it is a vegetarian India dish made out of eggplant. But we were told to put some on our plate over our rice and we did what we were told and, again: Holy Shit.

We don't think we've ever thought of eggplant and crack at the same time, but bharta was bridging all sorts of divides this weekend. And again, because we are not foodies, we don't know if Bharta is "authenthic" (but trust us when we say we don't care). For all we know, bharta might be the Indian equivalent of a chili dog or a funnel cake -- something unsophicated for which your love can only be expressed to yourself while you are driving alone in the car or taking a shower.

Whatever bharta's story, we loved it and ate the whole container and when it was gone insisted on scraping up the container with nan, to make sure every last lick was gone.

And here we sit, Tuesday morning, and all we can think about is the next time we get to have it.

Surya India:
On the web.

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