Bill Stranberg (more chengdu)|
Three floors of culture await you just across the street from Wuhou Temple. In fact, that’s where you should start. A’re is located smack-dab in the middle of what has become known as the Tibetan District. And that’s fitting, too, seeing as A’re is in fact Tibetan. Before sitting down to a meal, take an hour or two and meander around. The neighborhood is full of the normal cliché crap, but there’s also some pretty unique stuff to be had if you’re willing to do some digging.
Back to A’re. On the first floor is a small dining area; the second floor has bao xiang; and the third floor has a larger dining room and small bar. Throughout the walls are draped with murals, tapestries and prayer flags, and on the third floor, for balance if nothing else, there’s a string of Santa pics (a seeming standard for any bar). The lighting is atmospheric if not a bit yellow.
When we went, we sat up on the third floor to take in the view of the temple and street below. Our waitress was attentive and a tad worried when we started to order a lot of food. She eagerly suggested the house specialty: a layered pie of potatoes, seasoned yak meat and peppers, topped with Tibetan-style bread. The dish was delicious, with a Sichuan numbing pepper tinge. The bread is similar to a tortilla and can be used to soak and scoop up the tastiness beneath it. We ordered another one called Lhasa Potatoes, which was average by comparison to the main dish. Our final choice was seasoned strips of seasonal veggies: mushrooms and bean sprouts in a sauce that started with a kick but settled smooth. The menu is in English and has all sorts of Tibetan delicacies, including the famed Yak Butter Tea, but given the heat, we thought it a bit on the heavy side. Next time. English menu available.