I don't know why this place is called Hahn's Hibachi - they serve Korean barbecue (hibachi is a Japanese word), and there isn't a hibachi in sight at the Jack London location. Despite this, the food is pretty good - it's a Westernized Korean bbq. (If you're looking for good Korean bbq, this isn't the place.) Don't get me wrong, Hahn's isn't bad, it's just not authentic anything.
Still though, it's a great alternative to the other restaurants around JLS.
PROS: Nice alternative to Friday's.
CONS: No hibachi?
You won't find gourmet pies here - just good, hot comfort food. There's a definite cafeteria vibe going on here, but that's fine because the SD Chicken Pie shop never pretends to be anything that it's not. You'll find senior citizens, families, and the occasional hipster. For under $5, try their Pie Dinner - signature chicken pie (waaay better than supermarket ones), a side of slightly watery mashed potatoes, veggies (frozen peas and carrots), a roll, and a slice of pie (long list of fruity pies). $5! I
PROS: The prices can't be beat!
CONS: Sides are not the best.
Weekend project - minor home repair - redecorating, or just need household goods like a toothbrush holder? Ace is a great place to go, and this particular Ace carries a lot of hard to find things that smaller hardware stores might not carry. There seem to be several sections: housewares (great waste basket selection), lighting (many to choose from), and hardware (the biggest section.) The aisles in the general hardware are wide and neatly stocked. The folks that work there know where to find things and are helpful.
This OSH is way better than the Home Depot down the street in Emeryville because it's a lot cleaner (they have a "real" floor) and it is a lot less crowded. They might not carry giant pieces of lumber, but that means you won't hear the loud saws buzzing away all the time either. They keep everything well-stocked and the people walking around the floor are genuinely helpful and knowledgeable. (Except the cashiers who are slightly apathetic.)
PROS: Good hardware selection
Home Depot's the place when I'm looking for something to help with my DIY stuff - home repairs (ha ha), making a robot costume, or finding specialty light bulbs. It's inspring walking up and down the giant aisles looking at all the possibilities. The downside to this Home Depot? Everyone else loves coming here - it's a crowded madhouse, particularly on the weekends. It gets so crowded that people get a little aggro. I never go here on the weekends. Ever.
PROS: It's a typical HD - no surprises here.
CONS: It's toooo crowded and crazy!
Can't get enough office supplies? I know there are supply-philiacs out there - I'm one of them. I can spend hours at at an office supply store. This one in Emeryville just opened up recently so it's nice and new, the shelves are fully stocked, there are a lot less people, and it's cleaner than the other office supply place down the street. The only thing I didn't like about my last trip here were all the distracting yellow sale flags every where.
The Thai food at the Vulcan in east Oakland is good. Really good. So good that I'd eat there twice a week. Their Pumpkin Curry ($5 or so) is their signature dish and should be obligatory. You can get it with chicken or tofu - or I suppose just with warm chunks of pumpkin. The curry itself is creamier and just slightly sweeter than a green, yellow, or red curry, and very, very good.
Other menu items of note are the pad thai and satay chicken.
PROS: Yummy Thai food
CONS: The Thai iced tea can come in a bigger glass....
If you are a fan of Thep Phenom in San Francisco, you'll probably like Phuping Thai. They're somehow related (the cutouts of newspaper clippings gives it away) and the food is good. They have Thai standby's and specials - and they have meekrob, which not to many places offer. Their soups are excellent - and the service is wonderful. The only thing I didn't like at Phuping Thai was the pad thai - bland.
The Crepevine offers all kinds of wonderful crepes, both sweet and savory. They're not the kind you hold like a burrito, there's so much goodness inside, you need a plate and fork! The savory fillings go beyond ham and cheese - you can find things like kalamata olives, spinach, feta, or grilled tofu. The sweet crepes are just at sinful, and they do offer the good ol nutella and bananas. For the crepephobes, they also have pasta dishes and giant salads. The average crepe is about $5.
PROS: Crepes Galore!
CONS: The noise factor.
If you drive down Park Boulevard during the weekend, you're likely to see a group of people standing in line in front of Ole's Waffle Shop in Alameda. You're thinking, the food must be great if the line's out the door! Yes and no. The waffles are quite legendary (there was a brief mention of them in an old, old issue of Sunset magazine) - and don't get me wrong, they are quite a creamy delightful conversation piece... but everything else at Ole's is just OK.
PROS: the waffle
CONS: the wait