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Friday, February 23, 2007

ALL AMERICAN AT AMBER WAVES IN ANAHEIM


Located in the Knott’s Berry Farm Resort Hotel is a very interesting, reasonably priced theme-related restaurant called Amber Waves. This is pure Americana, and as the famous “mascot” of the Knott’s Berry Farm enterprises, Snoopy is a favorite guest who makes two appearances while we dine. I get to take my picture with him. That is kinda fun!

I love the decor of Amber Waves. The decorator used the warmth of wood to create the charming ambience in this circular setting.
Cherry laser wood cut panels representing some of our country's prominent cities surround the bar in the middle of the dining room yet removing it from view. My favorite laser cut, of course, is New York, but the St. Louis panel is striking with its towering Arch. There are murals of the states and of America’s regions on some of the walls often painted in muted southwest shades of brown and beige. The prevalent color scheme for the linens is, naturally, red, white, and blue. The restaurant is a combination of modern industrial architecture with visible ducts along the ceiling and art deco as seen in the lighting. The mix is, because it's well done, rather charming and comfortable.

The menu carries on the theme as the entrees are divided into regional sections of the country. From the Pacific, for instance, one offering is Pan Roasted Salmon. From the Midwest/South there is Kansas City Filet Mignon, and from the Atlantic, we can try Tribeca Rib eye Pepper Steak.

My inevitable choice is Chef Shannon's Pot Pie--(right, Iris and Joyce?), chicken and vegetables topped with cornbread streusel with a hint of jalapeno. Alas, Chef Shannon must not have known I was coming, and there is none! Second choice, chicken quesedillas served with guacamole, sour cream, salsa and a salad. I'm not normally a jalapeno person, but the guacamole had bits of it, and it added just the right perk and spirit to the avocado. I like it a lot. Portions are huge, and half my dinner comes home in a box.

Rob chooses the Baja California Fajitas which arrive on a hot, sizzling platter loaded with chicken, grilled onions and peppers, fresh guacamole with a hint of jalapeno, sour cream and salsa. Four flour tortillas accompany his delicious, huge, half in a box to come home serving.

Obviously there is no room for coffee or dessert, and my one complaint is the size of the portions. We see this more and more. It would be nice if restaurants cut down on the sizes of servings.

Still, I recommend Amber Waves when you're out in the Anaheim area.

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