I've been to Tai Wu so many times that I don't remember how many that is! It's very convenient for me because I live within walking distance (although I always drive!) This place is a little small, which makes sense since I consider it Mr. Fong's little sister. I am a little biased because I ate here before finally trying Mr. Fong's nearby. While Tai Wu isn't quite as good to me after going to Mr. Fong's, I still go here for a quick meal. The service is top-notch, especially for a Chinese restaurant! The waiters, who are always the same 3 or 4 people (do they EVER take a day off?!) are always rushing around during busy times, but they still manage to get us our water refills quickly. I don't get too fancy and just stick with simple dishes like Chow Fun with extra sauce. I tried to be adventurous, but most other dishes I tried weren't really to my liking. I have no qualms with the prices. In fact, I think they are lower than Mr. Fong's.
If I didn't favor Tai Wu because I ate there first and so often when I first moved to Foster City, I'd actually only give it 3 stars when comparing to Mr. Fong's.
PROS: Quick, great service for Chinese, good chow fun, reasonable prices.
CONS: Stick with simple dishes.
Zanze's cheesecake is the best I've had among the lighter-textured cheesecakes. Some people prefer the heavier textures, and they might not necessarily like Zanze's, but I don't see how that is possible!!! I myself prefer the lighter cheescakes, so this was perfect. You have to cut this cheesecake with a floss-like string - otherwise, it'll stick to your knife and get all messed up! I do agree that is is rather mousse-like and creamy. I highly recommend Zanze's if you are looking for a delicious cheesecake that is light, creamy, but still has the tastiness and kick of the heavier cheesecakes!
I haven't actually been to the location myself, but I believe the shop is only open a few days a week. Best thing to do would be to call ahead and get the hours before heading over.
PROS: The perfect light, floaty, creamy cheesecake!
CONS: Limited days/hours the shop is open.
I just went to Santa Ramen for the first time. I LOVE ramen, so I was especially excited to try out this place that I had read nothing but fantastic reviews on. I went a little after noon on a Saturday, expecting there to be long lines like everyone says. There was just one couple ahead of me, so I lucked out. It was a warm day, so that's probably why there wasn't much of a line. (There were about 5-6 parties waiting out on the sidewalk after I got seated though, so I did luck out!)
The menu was all posted on the wall, along with a little note stating that the stewed pork was sold out! I had heard a lot about this particular flavor of ramen, so I was a bit disappointed. I got the roasted pork in my favorite type of japanese ramen broth, pork broth. After the first few spoonfuls, I had forgotten about the sold out flavor. The broth was a bit salty, but overall, this has to be the best ramen I've had in a long time! I think it's better than any of the ramen houses in West LA...
$9 for a bowl is a bit pricey, but I will be coming back to try that stewed pork as well as the chicken I keep hearing about!
PROS: Street parking ok, noodles cooked well, menu options clear, delicious!
CONS: Bit pricey for ramen, place is tiny.
I stayed in the Millenium Hilton just after it re-opened. The hotel had been badly damaged on 9/11, as it stands just across the street from the WTC. I was encouraged to stay here by very good deals on Travelocity (or one of the hote deal sites) going on at the time to get people to come back after 9/11. This was the first time I would get to see the WTC site and my first trip to NYC.
The hotel room was top-notch, as expected. A plasma TV and exquisitely comfortable bed stand out most in my mind when I think back to my stay. I especially remember the bed sheets being very good quality. The location of the hotel made it easy to get around because it was very close to the subway. I still had to travel quite far to get to Times Square and other favorite attractions.
The view from my room was nice - looking out, I could see skyscrapers and the water. Directly below was the WTC site, lit up and under construction. I believe this was just a year after 9/11, so it was quite a view. I think I sat in front of the window in silence for quite a while in my room. Around 2 am or so one night, I walked right across the street to the site to look in and read the memorial and information boards. There were a lot of other people (considering how late it was) doing the same thing, and given the time and location, or perhaps because of it, I did not feel unsafe being out that late. Besides, the hotel entrance was only about 50 ft away.
The decor inside the hotel was very modern and clean. There was a bar downstairs where people often hung out, and the concierge was friendly and helpful when I asked for directions.
Emotions and drama of the WTC location aside, I enjoyed my stay and would probably come back here again if there was another rate deal. I think it might be a bit too expensive for me otherwise.
PROS: Newer, high-end hotel, nice linens, modern,right across from WTC
CONS: Construction going on all around
I'm going to start this review by saying that this was my first trip to Reno. I went over Labor Day weekend after finding that Las Vegas was pretty much sold out in flights and hotels. I knew Reno is no Vegas, so I lowered my expectations of the town and the hotels. Also, I'm pretty sure all casinos in Reno have poorer ventilation than the newer ones in Vegas that I'm used to, so I'm not going to factor the smokey casino air into the rating.
With that, the decor inside Eldorado was all right, a typical casino, nothing as fancy or over-the-top as Vegas. I did notice that the lobby area of the Silver Legacy was a little nicer looking, but I can only compare decor since I did not stay at the Silver Legacy. If I do go to Reno again, I might try that hotel. I was put in a smoking room because I checked in at 1 am and all non-smoking was booked. In addition, they had run out of rollaway beds. The inside of the room was plain, the bathroom was a decent size, although the toilet seat was broken (as soon as I sat down, I went sliding off to the side and almost fell off the toilet!) and the shower drain was clogged. My group could not sleep because of the heavy smoke smell in the room. Of course, we complained to the front desk, but they beat around the bush and were ineffective. After about 3 hours of complaining and going back and forth between the front desk and Travelocity, the hotel somehow magically found an extra rollaway bed at 4 am...probably to make us shut up for a few hours by giving us SOMETHING. They also had us leave the room for an hour to run some sort of an Ionic Breeze-type machine, which made the air smell better for about 20 minutes, then it came back. We only slept 3 hrs the first night, so I was not too pleased with my experience thus far. We did manage to get a non-smoking room the next morning, with an intact toilet seat and working shower drain. The air on the non-smoking floor was exponentially better. Bad first night aside, the hotel was all right, nothing special to write home about. It's perfectly fine if you are going to Reno strictly to gamble and just need a shower and a bed to sleep on in between gambling sessions.
I was hoping to get to a pool Sunday afternoon. The tower I was in had a view of the pool from the hallway. What a disappointment!! It looked like a seedy motel pool. The pool was smaller than the one at my apartment complex! The jacuzzi did not look appealing at all, and could probably only fit 2 people. It was located in between 2 tall towers, so it sat in shade for most of the day. I opted out of the pool and went to the Silver Legacy spa instead.
I was quite pleased with the Eldorado Buffet. It was just under $20 for a Saturday dinner. A lot of buffets try to give you a lot of variety and end up tons of bland dishes. The Eldorado might seem smaller than some other buffets, but there were many tasty dishes. I liked almost everything that I tried. I steered clear of the Asian-themed section, as I usually do at buffets. The lobster pasta and seafood ravioli were excellent. I think the only dish I didn't like was the NY steak. I had great chocolate cake and pumpkin pie for dessert, and the fruit was fresh and not underripe. For $20, I was definitely pleasantly surprised. In my opinion, it was better than the Luxor Buffet in Vegas, which only cost me $7 when I went in July because I had a coupon...but at first glance, I think the expected quality from each would be comparable. Overall, if the first night hadn't been so horrible, I would have given a better rating.
PROS: Buffet was better than expected, non-smoking room was comfortable.
CONS: Not a good experience for a holiday weekend, no spa in hotel.
After hearing all the rave reviews about Gary Danko, I decided to finally try it out. I had just been to Masa's pretty recently, so I was expecting just as good an experience. I'm not too sure how the prices compare - I did a multi-course like at Masa's which might have cost just a little less at Gary Danko.
The table for two that I got was in a really awkward location. I sat inside, and my boyfriend sat in the aisle - and it really was sitting in the aisle. He was hanging out right next to a small hallway, right where a wall ended. The staff was not able to get us another table. They apologized profusely and handled it about as well as is expected from a fine-dining establishment.
I actually really enjoyed my meal with the exception of the lobster bisque. It was way too salty for me! I ordered a fabulous dessert - caramelized banana crepes, which were prepared table-side. It was fun to watch the guy prepare our dessert and flambe those bananas!
If I'm feeling like going to a high-end restaurant and spending some $$$$$, GD is definitely on my list, just below Masa's. One more thing, I did like the atmosphere of GD. It felt more accessible to me than Masa's, and less like someone "normal" wouldn't belong.
Emmy's is good whether you pick it up to go or eat at the restaurant. I don't think I've had a bad dish here! The clams with black bean sauce were great (although a little salty, it was still soooo good!), salt and pepper porkchops and chow fun extra good, and I thought it was pretty cheap Chinese food for what you are getting. It's fun to come here with 5 or 6 people, order a whole bunch of dishes, and pig out, family-style. If I don't feel like driving out to the Sunset for Chinese, I can always count on Emmy's. I prefer it over the other Chinese places nearby on Ocean.
PROS: Good prices for great food, fast, reliable.
CONS: I can't think of any!!
I went to San Tung after hearing about how great it is from friends and online reviews. I probably went in really high expectations because I didn't think the food was as fantastic as it sounded. The was a long wait list when I got there, as expected. I waited about 40 minutes before getting a table, which wasn't too bad for a Friday night. I ordered the black bean noodle, the famous chicken wings (wet-style, there was sauce all over them), and the dry stir-fried green beans. The green beans weren't bad, but I did not really like the chicken wings. I think I should have ordered them dry. I'm not really a fan of sweet- flavored wings (I prefer hot wings, just spicy, no sweet goo). I wasn't sure what to expect out of the noodles, but they were also all right. I might go back and give it another try, but there are plenty of good places to eat on Irving St and all around the Sunset.
I went to el Mansour for a friend's birthday celebration. There were about 12 of us, so they clustered us around 3 tables. The inside is a bit small, so definitely make reservations ahead of time for larger parties. This was a fun place to celebrate!! We ate with our hands, so if you go here, hopefully you are comfortable sharing with your friends. There were a lot of great options to choose from on the menu (we ordered from the right side, I believe it was, where the combination meals were listed). Partway into our meal, we enjoyed some great photo opportunities with the belly dancer. She was very talented, entertaining, and friendly...she encouraged a few in my group to interact and do some dancing of their own.
The place was pretty easy to find. Parking took a little bit of time, but definitely not as bad as other areas of SF. I think I parked about 2 blocks away. I had a fantastic time and would definitely go back again!!
PROS: Fun for celebration dinners, entertaining belly dancers, great food!
CONS: Inside is a little small.
I love delis, since I love sandwiches. I go here much more often than Zorba's on Jackson. It's far better than the deli I go to on weekends in Foster City. Classic deli setup with a huge selection of meat, cheese, and bread. Pasta salads and other sides are available, as well as chips and drinks. It doubles as a gourmet market, like most delis. The sandwiches are top notch, loaded with layers of meat and cheese and condiments - more so than any other sandwich shop I've been to nearby. I don't like a whole lot of mayo and mustard on my sandwiches, and they usually put a lot, so I ask for less of that. There are usually about 4-5 people working behind the counter, so the wait is all right. It does get pretty busy at lunch on weekdays, so I've always had to take a number and wait. I would have given this place a World Class rating if it weren't for one consistent observation me and my fellow co-workers have made. The people behind the counter wear gloves when they assemble the sandwiches, and we've noticed at least one of them handling money while wearing the gloves. This person did not wash their gloved hands or change gloves before moving onto the next sandwich. I try not to think about it when I go there because I love the sandwiches, and I try my luck and hope I don't get that person making my sandwich. It's enough to keep pickier people away, so just a warning... To be fair, I've only noticed the one person myself - all of the others change gloves with each order.
PROS: My favorite sandwich shop in the Hayward/CV area.
CONS: The glove issue, and limited seating.