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Question: My wife and I have a favorite restaurant, Nepheles, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. They have a varied menu, sometimes offering such exotic selections as buffalo or alligator. We would like to make the swordfish with fruit salsa at home. The taste is incredible - hot, sweet and tangy.

- Paul Tracy, El Sobrante, Calif.

Answer: The meaning of "Tahoe" is a subject of debate. To its original inhabitants, the Washoe Indians, Tahoe meant "big water" or "water in a high place," but to Mark Twain, who claimed he'd chased grasshoppers with the Washoe, Tahoe meant "grasshopper soup." View the Washoe Indian Cultural Foundation Exhibit of housing, artifacts and pictures at the Tallac Historic Site.

Lake Tahoe is a freshwater lake occupying a fault basin on the California-Nevada boundary in the northern Sierra Nevada. The city of South Lake Tahoe is in a ruggedly beautiful area that is a favorite outdoor sports playground, where visitors snow ski, jet ski, paddleboat, bike, rollerblade, pound the jogging trails and hike. Camping in the nearby Desolation Wilderness area is by permit only.

Nepheles, a wonderfully romantic restaurant in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., is named after the Greek goddess of epicurean delights. Nestled in a mountain setting between Heavenly Valley and the shores of Lake Tahoe, the restaurant offers guests imaginative cuisine, such as grilled swordfish with a sweet-heat salsa of fresh fruit and jalapeno, and private hot tubs. Located behind the restaurant, the walled tubs are open to the sky and rented by the hour.




1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

1 ripe papaya, peeled and diced

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced

3 green onions, chopped

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

2 tablespoons seeded, chopped fresh jalapeno

2 (6-ounce) swordfish steaks about 3/4-inch thick (or cut one 12-ounce swordfish steak in half)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Wash and peel fruit. Remove seeds and dice. In mixing bowl combine mango, papaya, pineapple, green onions, cilantro, lemon juice and jalapeno. Toss to mix well. Set salsa aside.

Brush swordfish lightly with olive oil and grill over white hot coals 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with salsa. Makes 2 servings.