I stopped in this place at lunchtime once because it's close to campus and I was in a hurry. That time I found the food to be okay, not great, but cheap. I was more or less satisfied except that the mango lassi I ordered had a very strange taste that reminded me of Windex. For all I know, it *was* Windex! Anyway, I just figured if I went back I would avoid the lassis. The next time I went there it was late at night and I was with some friends. Three of the five dishes we ordered were totally disgusting! I ordered saag paneer, and it (along with at least one of the other offending dishes) had a very odd, chemical taste to it. I don't know what the deal is with this place, but I suspect that there is some weird stuff that goes into the food and drinks that you don't want to know about. If you like the taste of Windex and other chemicals, this is your place! Otherwise I recommend walking a bit farther (and paying a little more) to go to Kaana Peena on Oxford.
My husband has been here several times and always enjoys Frank's services. Frank himself is somewhat of a character and will smoke cigars in between haircuts. That's one of the 'old-school' aspects of the place; another is the jars of blue stuff that the instruments are left soaking in to sanitize them. The price is reasonable and it's in a good location. The haircuts are good, a little short in my opinion, but that's probably what you get at any barbershop.
The food here is okay, but not outstanding. It would be fine if the prices were a lot lower, but as it is, the food is overpriced. It is a nice little neighborhood place in an area of Kensington that doesn't have much else within walking distance, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go there. The decor is pleasant and the service is friendly enough, but there's just not much exciting here. Might as well drive a little piece and go to Fatapples in Berkeley or El Cerrito, where the food is better and cheaper.
I have to disagree strongly with the other reviewer. This is the best Indian restaurant I have ever been to. The food and service seemed to get even better after they expanded (from a tiny hole in the wall to a moderately small hole in the wall) a few years ago. Everything tastes fresh and delicious. Samosas are great, lassis are great, gulab jamun (dessert with honey sauce) is great, best saag paneer I have had anywhere. Naan is outstanding (especially the cheese and garlic varieties -- both are really great). I have tasted some fish dishes there and thought they were just fine, though I don't know why you'd want to order fish at an Indian place anyway. I'm vegetarian and love the wide range of veggie options; my husband loves the chicken tikka masala and says it is the best he's had anywhere. Portion sizes are generous but not overwhelming -- just right (maybe on the big side, but I like that). The service and decor are wonderful too. We've been to a lot of Indian restaurants in the US and have found this one to be our very favorite.
This bakery has a nice selection of delicious desserts and bread. I like to buy a coffee at Peet's across the street, then go to La Farine and get a pastry to enjoy with my coffee at one of the little benches outside the store. The pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) is excellent, as are the cupcakes. Beware that the cupcakes have a very thick buttercream frosting that is rich and can be overwhelming. Usually the bread is available for tasting, which is nice. Peet's has good baked goods as well, but you might as well go to La Farine since it's right there.
This place has everything you could want if you do stained glass or related projects (mosaic, glass blowing, etc.). They have a big selection of beautiful glass, and all the equipment you need. They also offer classes in the back room. I took a stained glass class and it was great! The cost was reasonable, too. Even if you aren't a glass artist, this is a nice place to stop in when you're on Fourth Street because they have a lot of ready-made pieces ranging from little jewelry items to big fancy (expensive!) window hangings.
You can probably get all these books online, but then you won't have the chance to flip through them beforehand in a nice, comfortable store. Employees are helpful and knowledgeable, and the selection is good. I always walk out with lots of things I didn't even know I wanted! Buy yourself a book and then read it over some coffee and dessert at the little restaurant/coffee shop next door (not sure if it's affiliated with the book store or not, but one gets the feeling that it might be).
Builders Booksource might sound like a place where you would go to buy books about construction or carpentry, but it's so much more than that. They have a neat range of books about design, architecture, landscape, art, history, cities, travel, and many other topics. There's something for just about everybody here, so don't be intimidated by the name. They also have some cute cards and gifts and a nice little selection of magazines. If you go at the right time, you can find a comfy chair and sit down to read for a little while. They have a nice e-mail list that you can subscribe to and get announcements of events and discounts on occasion. There's also a frequent buyer deal, but it seems like you have to buy a lot to qualify. Employees are friendly and knowledgeable. Overall a very pleasant store.
You will be surprised when you walk into this place at how many books they are able to cram in there. It's bigger than you expect, and the store is stuffed to the gills with books. You can find some pretty weird stuff in there, though as mentioned by another reviewer, don't go in there expecting to pick up a particular thing because you probably won't find it. This place has subdued lights and a musty smell, and overall it has a very quiet, nerdy feel to it that's very pleasant if you're into that kind of thing.
This place has comfy booths and great food. Prices are fair but not cheap. I like it because I'm vegetarian and there are lots of veggie options on the menu including excellent matzo brei. My husband prefers the pastrami, which is (apparently) top-notch. He also likes the matzo ball soup. The coffee and desserts are also great. We think that Saul's compares favorably with other more famous Jewish delis such as Canter's in LA and the Carnegie Deli in New York. The service is friendly and the decor is cool too!