Thomas J. Story
Crossing the Bar. A waterfront spot where classic Indian techniques (tandoori mahimahi) take on a French accent (rack of lamb glazed with wild mushroom sauce). $$$; dinner Tue-Sun. Pier 33, on the Embarcadero, San Francisco; 415/593-0159.
Tantra. At this L.A. hot spot, even the format is fusion: a restaurant by evening, a bar/lounge by night. Enjoy the Bollywood interior and "modern Indian cuisine," which swaps olive oil for ghee and gives Indian classics a Mediterranean twist. $$; dinner daily. 3705 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 323/663-8268.
Vij's Restaurant. Blending Indian spices and techniques with local produce, this Vancouver, B.C., gem wins accolades for dishes such as wine-marinated lamb "popsicles" in fenugreek cream curry. $$$ U.S.; dinner daily. 1480 W. 11th Ave., Vancouver, B.C.; 604/736-6664.
Vij's Rangoli. The sister market/cafe to Vij's offers ready-to-eat and frozen fare made on the premises. $ U.S.; lunch daily, dinner available for take-out. 1488 W. 11th Ave., Vancouver, B.C.; 604/736-5711.