Kamal Palace, Cuisine of India

It was strange to get on 57 S and just keep going, ignoring all signs for Disneyland, giving the Sun Wheel in the distance only a nod. (Perhaps this explains what it did to us a few days later.) Instead, we took the exit for 22 W, exited Seal Beach Boulevard, headed toward said Beach, took a right on Westminster, watched it become 2nd Street, and then took a right on the Pacific Coast Highway, which strangely diverts from the coast for a fair chunk of space around here.

A few missteps around the big parking lot (with a Ralph's and an Albertson's and a movie theatre), then down the steps and under the building and out to the marina, and we found Kamal Palace, Cuisine of India, chosen from the 4-6 Long Beach-area Indian restaurants because a) it was on the way and b) its website is operational.

I also chose Kamal Palace because it didn't require driving north towards Compton. Staying out of Compton is important to me. Google Maps tried to tell me that the best way to Long Beach was straight through Compton, but I thought it was worth the extra projected 18 minutes to not drive in an area with a homicide rate that is 8x the national average and "the most dangerous city in the United States" for its population. Maybe Google Maps needs an "avoid areas with absurdly high crime" checkbox in addition to their "avoid freeways" option.

I like the way Kamal has a sign outside letting you know exactly how many dishes of what type (chicken, vegetarian, dessert, etc.) it has on the buffet. (Pity I didn't get a non-blurry photo of it.) Alas, not one of those dishes involved paneer! Still, the food was pretty delicious - delicately seasoned but still spicy, and beautifully aromatic, especially the samosas. This was my plate:

Kamal Palace - My Plate

Of the three desserts, one was gulab jamun, so Mike was very happy.

Mike and the Gulab Jamun

I had some GJ as well as rice pudding. Tasty! Almost as tasty as the riata that is becoming a new fave for me in Indian dining. (SW corner, above.)

The purple decor was elegant and serene. Our water was icy cold and refilled frequently. Outside, the boats in the marina made me think of how lovely it must be to step ashore and have bubbly garlic naan waiting for you.

Kamal Palace - Cuisine of India

After a quick check of the trunk to make sure I did pack my toothbrush and we didn't need to do a store-dash, it was back onto 2nd Street, quickly over Naples Island(s), a wiggle left and a wiggle right onto Ocean Boulevard, through historic downtown Long Beach, and left across the bridge to see... the Queen!

20 March 2008 |



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