One might be tempted to say, "only in San Francisco," but the truth is, these restaurants are all over the world. Half restaurant, half performance art. A hostess with green hair welcomed us. Once admitted, we chose a bed upon which to sit for the evening. We were served appetizers in a Chinese take out boxes, a vegetable course in what appeared to be clean ashtrays, etc. The food was tasty; there were two choices: vegetarian or not, price fixe. Our wine steward was heavily tattooed, pierced, quite knowledgeable, and charming. A masseuse moved from table to table. And there was dancing to techno music. Check for "special evenings" on their website.
If you're looking for a relaxing, calming, soothing, spa experience, this one isn't for you. If you're looking to have every part of your body intensely exfoliated, then hydrated, this may be the place. It feels a bit like you're a Chevy at the local car wash as Korean women in bikinis motion for you to lay (stark naked) on a massage table lined with plastic. Buckets and buckets of warm water are poured on you before the exfoliation begins. Every cell of dry skin is removed unceremoniously, with great vigor, before many more buckets are applied for rinsing. At one point, sitting up as a warm white liquid was poured over my head, I asked, "what's this?" "Milk," my practitioner replied, "want to drink?" The results are amazing. One feels as light and fresh as one might feel. I went, my first time, with a friend. She's gone back again and again saying, "this is my new favorite thing." I'll be going again soon.
Eating at Aziza is as much an experience as a meal, an evening's journey to the Middle East. Excellent, authentic food, tasty and presented well, a nice wine list, and beautiful decor all combine to create a wonderful experience.
Christine at the Hahnemann Medical Clinic in El Cerrito is a wonderful healer. She listens very itently, asks fascinating questions, and seems to have an uncanny ability to get to the root of problems. She is warm, friendly and bounded. Very trustworthy. If you are looking for a practitioner of homeopathy with great integrity, it would be hard to find anyone more competent or caring.
Yen-Wei Choong at the Yellow Emperor Healing Center is not a new age kind of guy. He's a fifth generation Chinese healer who takes his work very seriously and gets results. He was recommended to me after a particularly long bout of bronchitis. One treatment with him immensely improved my breathing and stamina. Three treatments seemed to get me 98% well. (This, after weeks of several anti-biotics, chicken soup, etc., etc., etc.) This is no frills Chinese healing.
Royal Thai has been a long time favorite of locals. It's certainly one of ours. Excellent traditional Thai dishes, with particularly tasty and fresh daily specials. The menu is extensive and consistently good. Lots of delicious vegetarian options. Anything in their basil garlic sauce is particularly good. Their larp appetizers are excellent. Make sure to try the brown rice. It's crunchy and wholesome; once you've had it, it's hard to go back. The "patio" (an enclosed, windowed room), is particularly enjoyable. The service can be uneven.
The roast haus is the place to go when you want meat: turkey, roast beef, tri-tip, corned beef, pastrami. It's simple and good. You can get a small, regular or large plate. You can get sandwiches or house specials, too. They'll fix it exactly the way you like it (if it's not already on the menu). They offer lots of side dishes: mashed potatoes, rice, corn, vegetables, bean salad, cucumber and tomato salad, fruit salad. Desserts. Wine. Beer. You can eat it there or take it to go. Their prices are very fair. If you're craving meat, you can't go wrong here.
Anna does a very nice job with manicures and pedicures - such a good job that her customer load has become too large. After establishing herself with customers she has, more than once, made follow up appointments with them, and then, at the last minute, switched them to colleagues who, though trained by Anna, are far less experienced. Anna's excellent at what she does. There's just not enough of her to go around.
Summer offers facials and waxing in a very relaxing setting. She is very easy to be with and is excellent at what she does. She is gentle, yet gets the job(s) done. She offers a high quality experience at a good price.
Kayo provides a cozy, comfortable experience as she offers facials, waxing, and assorted other skin services. She is a master at her work. She can entertain you with tales of her extensive world travels or culinary adventures, but is just as comfortable with silence (or snoring). Her customers swear she keeps them looking 10 years younger. Her prices are fair. It is a pleasure to spend an hour or so with her and let the worries of the world slip away.