Superfoods and lower prices: Palo Alto's Amber Dhara becomes new, casual concept | Peninsula Foodist | Elena Kadvany | Mountain View Online |

Local Blogs

Peninsula Foodist

By Elena Kadvany

About this blog: Get the latest food news with the biweekly Peninsula Foodist newsletter.
We are constantly on the lookout for new and undiscovered meals, from Michelin-starred restaurants to tac...  (More)

View all posts from Elena Kadvany

Superfoods and lower prices: Palo Alto's Amber Dhara becomes new, casual concept

Uploaded: Apr 5, 2019
Another local restaurant is transitioning from long lunches and white tablecloths to casual service in the face of changing demographics and rising labor costs.

Amber Dhara, which opened in downtown Palo Alto in 2011, has been replaced with Gup Shup, still an Indian restaurant but one focused on "superfoods" and a lower price point in an effort to serve younger, health-conscious diners.

Owner Vijay Bist, who has long run a string of Indian restaurants in the Bay Area, said the change is being spearheaded by three young chefs: Sri Ram Reddy Punnam, Vivek Desirazu and Hitesh Gauta, who recently joined the team from the Middle East and will lead the Amber Indian San Francisco kitchen.


A buffet lunch at Amber India. Photo by Natalia Nazarova.

Gup Shup soft opened at 150 University Ave. Friday with a new menu that includes ingredients such as jackfruit, farro, barley, kale and chia seeds. There's a samosa filled with jackfruit and lentils and a “Yogi Bowl” with vegetable broth, brown rice, spring vegetables chiffonade and steamed gluten-free noodles. If naan isn’t your thing, Gup Shup serves a chickpea-oat flat bread. Entree prices range from $9 to $14.

For drinks, there are matcha lattes and lassi made with mustard and raw turmeric. Even cocktails, including non-alcoholic drinks, feature what Bist described as "wellness-promoting ingredients" like turmeric, kale, goji berries and beets.

Many traditional Indian dishes, however — from tandoori chicken and dosa to pav bhaji and cauliflower bezule — still remain on the menu.

I asked Bist: Why the shift in identity?

"This concept of formal dining, it was not 100 percent working for us," Bist said. Diners are skewing younger, from tech workers from students, while local restaurants are ever-competing for their attention with tech companies' cafeterias, he said.

Also, "the cost of running a business has tremendously gone up with increasing cost of raw materials, labor (cost and shortage) and unrealistic real estate rent in Palo Alto," Bist added.

Amber India still operates in Los Altos, Mountain View, San Jose, Milpitas and San Francisco.

Gup Shup is open Tuesday-Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and happy hour at 4 p.m. Dinner is 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

The Fish Market to remain in Palo Alto despite sale of property to developer
By The Peninsula Foodist | 9 comments | 3,641 views

How will Palo Alto plan for, and pay for, massive emissions reductions?
By Sherry Listgarten | 44 comments | 2,257 views

Memo to PA Police Chief Jonsen: What are you hiding from us? And why?
By Diana Diamond | 23 comments | 1,165 views

Vegan Latin American - Online Cook-along with San Mateo County Libraries
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,002 views

 

Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Mountain View. Voting is open now through May 23. Watch for the results of our Best Of contest on Friday, July 23.

VOTE HERE