back in the 1980s and probably in the 1970s, the only kind of indian cuisine the general "mainstream" public was familiar with was tandoori chicken, daal, curry this, curry that, naan, lassis... back then, the general public expected indian restaurants to be all cheap buffets with whatever quality of food they wanted to serve because whatever they cooked people would come and eat just because that's all they knew of indian food. now, we in the silicon valley (america's _real_ heartland) have _sooooo_ many choices for south asian cuisine! you want northern indian food? we've got it. you want southern indian food? we've got it. you want muslim.style or pakistani food? we've got it. we've got quick bites as well as luxurious venues for south asian cuisine.
amber india in santana row really raises the bar... not for south asian restaurants but for restaurants in general. first off, this restaurant has beautiful, artistic decor. if you never eat a single bit in this restaurant, you'll still enjoy it for its interior design and its artwork. this is a classy restaurant!
the dinner menu is awesome. you have creative dishes that contemporize traditional indian flavours with the use of a new variety of ingredients.
you'll be pleasantly shocked with how good the food and atmospher are here, but you might end up a bit shocked at the bill. it's a bit absurd how much you'll pay for a single piece of naan. they've got a decent selection of wine, but wow... once you've ordered a bottle, you might end up feeling a little suckered.
i also went to this santana row location once for lunch buffet and never returned for it. amber has a mountain view location, which serves a better lunch buffet for cheaper.
if you were to ask me for the best restaurant in san josé, i might say amber. i really considered it. however, it has many qualified peers. in the end i'd pick restaurant seven on the alameda as the overall best restaurant in san josé, i think. however, i think it's safe to say amber's the best restaurant in santana row; and consider it's there amongst the left bank, straits, and consuelo, that's saying a lot.