I'm not a huge fan of La Burrita because their burritos are simply not craveable. For my money, I'd rather go to Gordo's or even Chipotle. Their stuff is heavy without being delicious. The best thing is the Wet Burrito, but even that has room for improvement.
This place is just OK. I would avoid it unless I was drunk and it was the only game in town.
Nopa is a neighborhood, "urban rustic" eatery at the corner of Divsadero and Hayes. They serve upscale, but still reasonably priced, new-American/Mediterranean fare. Their wine selection is admirable, and their bar / cocktail area is pretty nice. Service was great and the atmosphere very welcoming and low-key. I got their burger (on personal recommendation) and it was pretty tasty. Their menu changes a fair bit, but is always pretty interesting.
It's right near The Independent. Apparently the building used to be a bank (it has uber high ceilings).
I also must say, the bathroom is a bit...conceptual. Both the men and women share a common sink area. I thought it kind of different. This would be a cool weeknight or weekend spot. I saw several people on casual type dates.
I'd definitely go back.
This is your standard black box of a night concert spot. It's mostly host to offbeat/indie bands. I saw RJD2 there last week, and it was OK. One thing I thought was weird was that the bathroom/coat check is on the complete opposite side o the entrance and near the stage - pretty hard to get to when the place is packed full of people. The Independent has been around for a while. It's cool to hang out and get a drink at someplace like Nopa first.
This is what comes to mind when you think of a world-class dining experience.
I went here for drinks and dessert the other night and everything was fantastic. It's certainly a 'culinary experience'. The food is highly conceptual and experimental but executed well. By conceptual, I mean lots of foams, textures, presentation, and interesting flavor combinations (think basil sorbet).
The space blends industrial features with a streamlined 50's-inspired aesthetic. Prices are moderate to high but totally worth it. This place is pretty classy but not intimidating or rude as some fine dining can be. Our waitress was extremely nice and helpful even though we were just having dessert.
Definitely worth checking out!
They also have a cafe that's open during the day next door. It's kind of equidistant from Embarcadero and Montgomery BART stations.
While I have never actually purchased garments here, I have purchased gift certificates for my girlfriend. She absolutely loves the place. I must admit, they have some very well-made and sexy lingerie. My girlfriend felt very comfortable with the professional fitting and very much enjoyed the experience. Gift certificates here are a great idea because she gets what she wants and clothing (let alone lingerie) is nearly impossible to buy for someone else.
To call Zatar a hole-in-the-wall would be a gross exaggeration. This place is tiny. I mean impossibly tiny. I went there last week and put my name in with the "hostess" and she said it would be 30 minutes. First off, no one tries to greet you. You must flag them down. Second, the place is so small that when you try to enter through the door, you're basically elbowing across diners tables. Forget about waiting inside.
Even with the indignity of waiting outside, we figured 30 minutes wasn't bad. So we waited. 30 minutes passed, no sign of getting a table. At 45 minutes we asked the "hostess" if she thought we would get a table soon. She said, "it should just be a minute". At an hour, we were starting to get pissed. We asked again. She said "I don't know if you'll get a table." This is absolutely unacceptable. I can forgive some problems with estimation, but to be more than double the time, with no sign of approaching seating and no attempt at conciliation, I have to say avoid Zatar. The food is not worth the wait. I have read elsewhere that some people are in fact told to wait then turned away hours later.
Zatar was featured on KQED recently so it's even more packed (and draws a KQED type of crowd - you know what I mean)
Don't waste your money on a business that clearly doesn't need it.
This place does pretty much have everything you would ever want or need for the kitchen. It's neat to look at all the weird gadgets and cookware.
I do have some problems:
1. It's really expensive - you can find most of these items much cheaper elsewhere.
2. The staff at this location specifically ignores young people. And I'm not just talking about 'scary-looking' young people. I have purchased many things here and the older staff pretend like us young whippersnappers don't exist. I hate going to a place where I am going to spend substantial money and the staff treat you like dirt. Avoid this place if you are younger than 30.
This place has some pretty reasonably priced quick take-out. It's just ok, but it's still a nice option in Elmwood.
The Chicken Teeka Masala tasted a bit different from others I've had. It tasted like they added too much liquid smoke. It was still ok, just not my favorite preparation.
The portions of the curry entrees are a bit small. One per person is a stretch, so think about 1.5 per person.
The rice is good and I can't say enough good things about the onion and garlic naan. Delicious!
This place is right next to Arlene's cleaners, Videots, and that Jewelry place.
I made the mistake of trying to do normal shopping around Christmas. The North Face Outlet was pretty mobbed. Even so, I was able to find a really great snow jacket and pants.
North Face really makes the best stuff out there. The place is really understaffed, but since it's so cheap, I can forgive it.
The parking lot is a joke. Of all the times I've been there I have never seen this lot empty. Luckily, there is plenty of parking in the neighborhood.
Avoid weekend where possible.
I have stayed here a few times and really enjoyed the experience. The hotel has some beautiful views of the city and is very close to everything. It has all the amenities one would expect from a luxury hotel. The staff was very accommodating and pleasant to deal with.