I didn't know about this place until about 6 months ago, and I've been working in Hayward for almost 3 years! It's only 2 blocks from my office, so I don't know how that happened. I wish I had known sooner. The first time I came here, I ordered the Pad Kee Mow off of their menu of specials and stuck with it since. I only strayed once; I think it was the basil chicken which was good too! However I am a noddle person, so I prefer the Kee Mow, spicy! Sometimes I call ahead and pick up, since the inside is kind of small and can get quite busy if you don't arrive early for a weekday lunch. I haven't had the curries, but fellow diners have enjoyed them.
PROS: Pleasant setting inside, great noodle dishes.
CONS: Inside a little cozy, parking can be a tad difficult if it's busy.
I've only been to Thai Garden during weekdays for lunch, but it is one out of two places that I go to in the area when I feel like Thai food. I usually come here for the curry and Siam Palace for the noodles, although the Pad Thai here is good (as it is at any good Thai place). My favorite is the yellow curry because I love potatoes, and I usually am not the biggest fan of Thai curry because of the coconut milk. The chicken broth the meals come with is simple but very good. My co-workers would come here once a week (sometimes even twice a week)! All in all, a solid Thai restaurant!
PROS: Pretty good service, great lunch spot. I like the curry!
CONS: Parking can be a bit of a challenge - find side roads to park on.
Pho Kim Long has the best chicken pho (Pho Ga) in the Bay Area!!! That's quite a claim. I don't consider myself an expert on Pho, but I've had enough bad Pho to make that statement. I had excellent chicken pho in Westminster (Little Saigon down in Orange County, which is known to have the best Vietnamese food in CA), and Pho Kim Long measures up, maybe even exceeds. Now, I don't know if they use MSG (probably because I sometimes feel the effects afterwards), but I don't really care! It's a bit of a trek for me to go there, but I go out of my way every once in a while. Portions are generous - a small bowl is enough for me. I haven't had the beef Pho here before, but I'm sure it's great too. This place can get quite busy around lunch time on the weekends, which is the only time period I've ever visited. Before noon and after 1:30 pm might have less of a wait.
PROS: Excellent chicken pho, best I've ever had.
CONS: Can be a bit of a wait during busy hours of lunch.
The La Pinata located in Hayward is a very popular lunch spot on the weekdays. Smaller parties (2-4 people) will find it easier to get a table. I still try to get there before noon to get seats. The decor inside is colorful and full of character (it used to be less so until the establishment had a fire and they completely repainted). I have to say that one time I ordered a meal plate (I think enchiladas with side of rice and beans) and found a dead bug on there. They replaced it bug-free and took my meal off of the bill. I continue to eat there, but I don't order the enchiladas anymore. Highly recommended are the soup dishes (tlalpeno - chicken soup with avocado and loaded with other goodies; or the spicy version). Fresh chips and salsa are great, but a warning that the salsa is quite spicy! I've heard that the taco salads are excellent as well. The parking lot is tiny, but there's usually plenty of street parking nearby.
PROS: lots of character, good service, great food!
CONS: limited seating inside
I visited the SF SPCA not long ago, and what an experience! I was already forewarned that this shelter would be unlike any other, but I was still in awe as I walked around. If I do adopt a cat in the near future, I would definitely come here first! From what I hear, this is a no-kill shelter. Thankfully, it receives enough money from generous people in order to run the way it does. It seems like every cat had its own mini-condo. They even have their own TVs to watch Catnip TV! You can tell that the animals here are treated with so much care and love. It would be so wonderful if every shelter were like this one! Even if you are not looking to adopt, you should definitely take a trip here! Super clean, wonderful staff and volunteers - very impressive!
PROS: Clean, modern, friendly staff, WONDERFUL!
CONS: None that I can think of!
This is a lovely little European-style hotel. Probably not a good choice for anyone who is accustomed to the W or larger luxury hotels. If you like charm and something a little more cozy and intimate, this is the place for you. My company booked this hotel for me when the Doubletree next door was booked full. I was given a room at the front, in the corner of the building. I think there were bars over my window, which I kept drawn anyway because I could hear people walking by on the sidewalk outside. Being on a rather busy street (Wilshire), the traffic noise is not unexpected. The size of my room was quite small. Perhaps if I had been put in a different room, my review would be a little more favorable. I did like the courtyard and overall decor in the lobby. I only stayed one night and checked out early. I had also rented a car, and boy, was the parking garage a challenge! I've dealt with difficult parking areas in LA apartments, but I had to do quite a bit of creative maneuvering in the Century Wilshire's parking lot. It's TINY. The expectation, of course, is that you'd probably be walking, cabbing, or opting for the bus if you are staying in Westwood anyway. Nice location, close to Westwood and UCLA. One more thing - the staff seemed a bit stuffy, but I guess it's expected around there.
PROS: Charming, quaint.
CONS: Terrible parking situation.
I stayed in the Claremont Resort for 2 nights for a business trip. Since my company paid for it, I don't have a perspective on the price. However, I thought that the building itself has a lot of charm, with beautiful surroundings. The view from the pool is wonderful, and I found the staff to be friendly and helpful. I ordered room service the first night, which was as pricey as you would expect room service to be. I did not use any of the spa facilities or services, but if I were to visit again, I definitely would. I am not sure how old this resort is, but it is on the older side...however I didn't notice anything, so it seems maintained very well. Definitely recommended for a getaway vacation.
PROS: Located in the hills, charming, good for getaways
CONS: Pricey, parking seems limited/expensive.
After going to a similar place in San Diego as a kid, I decided to check out the Exploratorium in SF as an adult. There was a good mix of kids and adults there - and after my visit, I agree that it's a great place to take kids or to even enjoy as an adult!
I recommend getting there early. I went sometime after lunch on a Saturday, and I ran out of time. I spent several hours on the first floor and was disappointed at closing time about completely missing the second floor! I've always enjoyed science, and this is a great way to explore scientific theories and principles. Lots of interactive and informative exhibits - great for hands-on people like me! Admission was definitely reasonable, although the prices of the food there were high, as expected of museums and similar attractions.
The plus is, after the Exploratorium closed, I took a nice half-hour walk around the building. What a lovely locale! Definitely a must see, whether you are a resident or tourist!
PROS: Fun, entertaining, educational, great for kids and adults! Great location!
CONS: Food expensive.
I used to get my hair cut here before I moved to to Northern CA. I loved the decor and atmosphere of Salon Goo. Located in Melrose, the salon is teeny-tiny, but bursting with character. It took me a while to find parking on the street, and I had to re-feed the meter a few times, but I loved my haircut and color both times I went! I highly recommend Jillian (if she is still there) - she even got a little experimental with my haircut. Don't be intimidated by the staff and their hairstyles and hair color, which tend to be different, but this place is in Melrose, so who cares? I wanted something a little funky, but cute, and that's exactly what I got! I would go back in a heartbeat! I think a haircut here fell in the range of the $50s-$60s. I haven't been there in over a year, so it might have changed since then.
PROS: Cute and funky, definitely worth the trip and price!
CONS: Parking difficult
I rented a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment on an upper floor in this apartment complex from late 2003 to early 2005. Overall, my stay was pretty satisfactory. Parkwood Place is an older complex, and therefore the units are relatviely larger with lower rent when compared to the newer communities in Fremont. The location isn't bad - quite close to the Fremont Hub, across the street from Washington High School (football games on Thurs, Fri nights are louder and cause more traffic on Country Dr). We had some ant problems during certain times of the year, and it was mostly in the bathroom due to cracks in between the caulking. My heater broke down (sparks came flying out!) but maintenance was pretty quick on that one. They are a little slower and less responsive on tougher repairs. Although the itemized deposit deductions, I think almost 40% of our deposit was taken out. So in the year and a half I lived there, it was pretty quiet, no major issues. If you are a pretty low-maintenance tenant, it's definitely a good choice.
PROS: Relatively affordable rent, larger floor plans
CONS: Older building, mgmt staff seems to change often