San Francisco Trip Advice

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by manhn, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'll be going to San Jose and San Fran in the middle of July for a family wedding / reunion. I haven't been back to California for a long time so will be looking forward to it.

    I'll be spending a few days in San Fran on my own and I need some hotel advice. Anyone know anything about The Mosser? It's in or around Union Square. It's fairly inexpensive, but the bathroom facilities are communal/shared. I have never stayed in such a hotel before! But the yelp and tripadvisor reviews are fairly positive.

    Also, I am so jealous of the many Vietnamese restaurants that specialize in broken rice dishes! Where I live, it's all about pho, pho and more pho. UMBSGoBlue's post on San Jose for US Nats is great, but is there a specific broken rice place I should check out?
  2. Impromptu

    Impromptu Well-Known Member

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    I stayed in a similar kind of hotel when I was in San Francisco a couple years ago. It was called the Edward II Inn & Suites (which does not appear to still be open), and while some rooms had their own bathrooms, mine did not. I didn't have any major issue with that - the bathroom wasn't terribly close to my room, but it didn't turn out to be a problem.

    I don't have any restaurant recommendations - the hotel was in the marina district and I just wandered around until I found some that looked interesting. This one was my favorite: http://www.thecrepehouse.com/index - polk.htm

    I did a lot of walking and also got a 1 day bus pass - for me the most interesting place was the cartoon art museum, but I also checked out the SF-MOMA and the Legion of Honor.
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  3. star_gazer11

    star_gazer11 practising choreo

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    I stayed at The Pod Hotel in NYC last year - similar setup with shared shower/toilet facilities. There were four per floor, and they had indicator lights in your room, so you could see which ones were available. The rooms had a sink so you can wash up and brush your teeth in your room.

    Obviously mornings were the busiest for shower time, but I shower at night so that was not a problem for me.
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  4. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Be wary of cheap non-brand name hotels "around Union Square" because the Tenderloin is nearby. It's to SF what Downtown Eastside and Main & Hastings is to Vancouver. A totally dire area full of drug dealers, addicts, skeevy street types (even for SF), and constant police activity and flashing police car lights at night. Lots of hotels market themselves as "Union Square Area" or "Lower Nob Hill" or "Nob Hill Area" when they are in fact in the Tenderloin.

    Do you really have anything to do in SJ besides the family event? I say skip SJ - really an endless stretch of boring suburbia masquerading as a large city of ~1 million people - and stick to SF if your time is limited. I live on the peninsula between SJ and SF, a bit closer to SJ in fact, but spend as much free time as I can in SF. While SJ is... okay... it's just lame :yawn: compared to anything SF. I'm actually getting ready to drive up to SF right now and go :40beers: :psoty: :rockstar: , in fact. ;)

    What's your budget for hotels, or your budget, period? Have you tried Priceline/Hotwire (see http://www.biddingfortravel.com for Priceline bidding FAQs)? PM me if you're not comfortable talking about $ details here.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
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  5. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Do you even know me, UMBSGoBlue? I LOVE suburbia masquerading as large cities! I can't wait to go to Santana Row!

    I will be in San Jose only for family, although I do have a couple of days where I can do things on my own in San Jose and surrounding areas (already planning to use SJ's light rail, then try Philz Coffee, then go to Santana Row, and then at least one broken rice restaurant).

    My PM limits are in constant warning levels and I have no trouble discussing $. I haven't really tried priceline before. I would like to stay somewhere along Market near a Muni station (I plan on using Muni my entire stay). I'd like to spend not much above $100/nite (internet would be only real demand). I'd be willing to spend up to $150/nite as long as there is a decent gym and internet access and my own private bathroom.
  6. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    :eek: :scream: :eek: :scream:

    [snob alert]

    Philz is really a SF thing, and to get the real experience and ambience with a yupster/hipster crowd (instead of a... :yawn: SJ crowd), you should go to a Philz (or, better yet, Blue Bottle or Ritual Coffee Roasters) in SF proper. Then again, anything in SJ is rather... lame compared to SF, all of which (good and bad) never ceases to amaze me.

    [/snob alert]

    All right, all right, if you really want to spend some time here in SJ without renting a car, then use Priceline to get a cheap rate ($40-80/night max) at a Santa Clara (Great America area; it's along the Light Rail), SJ airport-area hotel (along the light rail and easily accessible by Caltrain or SuperShuttle from SFO airport), or downtown SJ.

    If you do want to spend more time in SF proper, then stay in SF proper, and try Priceline and Hotwire for something at least 3 stars. I would recommend downtown (Financial District / Embarcadero) instead of Union Square, unless you can get a hotel that is no more than 2-3 blocks west of Union Square. If you are willing to pay up to $150/night (including fees), then you could snag a 3* or 4* Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt quality hotel that usually goes for $250-300/night for the regular rack rate.

    To use Priceline, go to http://www.biddingfortravel.com and read their Priceline bidding FAQs. Here are current prevailing rates for SF proper:
    http://biddingfortravel.yuku.com/forums/22/California-San-Francisco#.T-U-HhdfHMo

    If you can figure out Priceline, I'd say $90-100/night for the Hilton or Hyatts listed in the above link is a STEAL. :bribe:

    If you want to pay full price, Hilton has a sale right now which I've used for some upcoming travel on the East Coast.
    http://hhonors.hilton.com/en/hhonors/promotions/hhonors_greatgetaway/index.jhtml
  7. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    In SJ, I'll be staying with family, so no need for a hotel. Just SF.

    While doing my research, I detected that Philz was more of a SF institution but I figured that because there are soooo many coffeeplaces in SF (I will be going to Blue Bottle at the Ferry Building, don't you worry!), I can check off Philz from my list while in SJ to allow me to try another place in SF.

    I guess I know what I'll be reading this weekend...
  8. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Ferry Building is more of a busy, businessy, touristy sort of place, although all the outlets there are high quality (and a bit on the $$ side), and the weekend farmers' market is great. You definitely won't go wrong there.

    Consider going to Hayes Valley (short 20 minute walk SW of Civic Center BART) and try the original Blue Bottle kiosk in the alleyway with nothing but an outdoor parklet for seating. Then try the new Ritual Coffee Roasters kiosk a 1/2 block away in the Hayes Valley dog park, and also try resisting Smitten Ice Cream next door. Enjoy your coffee and ice cream in the dog park.

    Hayes Valley is an incredibly small but pretty neighborhood worth exploring on foot, and it's near so many other interesting and walkable neighborhoods (just take your time up those hills), like the lower Haight, Haight-Ashbury, Alamo Square, the Mission, and the Castro. That's why I love SF - so much "urban hiking" to do and so much to see (good and bad) within a short walking distance. It's got everything NYC has, but on a less dense, more human, and more liveable scale.
  9. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    2 short blocks from Union Square (old B&B hotels @ $60/day with a little upgrade in the last 4-5 years so the price is between 100-160 USD for single room)
    Choice 1) - Fitzerald Hotel (2** hotel, 5***** location)
    http://www.fitzgeraldhotel.com/

    Choice 2) - Chancellor Hotel (3*** hotel, 5***** location)
    http://www.chancellorhotel.com/

    Choice 3) - Via Florence Hotel (3*** hotel, 4**** location)
    http://www.villaflorence.com/

    If these are busy, try to search these (all with in 3-4 blocks of Union square, 2** and 3*** hotels under 150 USD night basic single room)

    Hotel Diva
    Union Square Plaza Hotel
    King George Hotel


    Edward II suites is still open.
    http://www.edwardii.com/

    It is a lovely Bed and Breakfast with "theme rooms" styled with Victorian to Roaring 20-es furniture and interior.

    It is FAR from Union Square in the residential area West of Van Ness.
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  10. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Even though its website appears at first glance to be functioning, the Edward II went out of business a year or two ago.

    The fact that a hotel named after Piers Gaveston's lover was located in the most notoriously heterosexual part of San Francisco instead of the Castro District probably explains all you need to know.
  11. Katoomba

    Katoomba Member

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    We stayed at the Cornell Hotel de France last fall. Great location and great value (a hot breakfast was included). We splurged for a large room with a private bathroom, which was about $150/night, but there were cheaper options.
  12. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    As long as it's within a couple of blocks of Union Square, it should be as safe as most places in San Francisco. It's when you start getting a little further away that you're really getting into the Tenderloin. There are a number of boutique hotels within a block or two of Union Square that are basic, but fine. Just check out the reviews. It's a convenient location. If you're into theatre, check out what tickets are available at the ticket booth that is right on Union Square. You can get discounted tickets there the day of the show.

    Mahn, even if you like suburbia, I strongly suggest spending more of your time in San Francisco rather than in San Jose. There's no place like San Francisco. The same cannot really be said of San Jose.

    If you're looking for certain types of restaurants, I'd look on Yelp for suggestions and see which ones strike your fancy.

    Yes, the Ferry Builiding tends to be upscale. Along with tourists, there are plenty of foodies and folks from the financial district there. But there's excellent food there, and it doesn't have to be super expensive. I'd get a Blue Bottle coffee (and several bags of beans -- I love them all, but the African blends are my favorites) and start wandering. Pick up some picnic stuff -- cheese at the Cowgirl Creamery, salumi at Boccalone, some Acme bread, fruit, etc. If it's a farmer's market day, then even better. Then just eat on one of the benches out back and look out at the water and the Bay Bridge.

    If you like eating and wandering, then I suggest eating and walking your way from Union Square through Chinatown (take-out dim sum shops on Stockton) and North Beach (Italian food, gelato, etc.) to Fisherman's Wharf (Dungeness crab, clam chowder, etc.). I don't care for Fisherman's Wharf itself, but on a nice day it's a great walk (or rent a bike) to go from there out to Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge.

    I'd also suggest looking to see what is going on in Golden Gate Park while you're there. In addition to checking out the exhibits at the De Young, there may be some free concerts going on. It's really easy to get to Golden Gate Park on muni if you're staying near Union Square. Take a bus to the Haight, spend a little time there, and then walk through the park to the De Young. (Depending on when you're there, you can sometimes find some good food trucks right by the De Young and Japanese Tea Garden).


    If you like good Mexican food, check out the Mission. It's easy go get there on muni.

    Be aware that it will probably be quite foggy while you're there. Have a sweater at all times and try to plan any major outdoor stuff for before mid-afternoon. (For example, if you're planning to go to Angel Island or Alcatraz, book a ferry for late morning. Otherwise, your view of the Golden Gate Bridge is likely to be obscured by fog. When my sister visited me, it was a running joke that the Bridge didn't really exist.)
  13. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Darn! too bad about Edward II... but why? a year or two ago the tourism business was still booming in San Francisco and it was practically impossible to book any reasonably priced hotel during summer time or holidays... I can't imagine they lacked business in any section of San Francisco....

    Ok... then there is an alternative "Victorian Decor" hotel/B&B with 4-poster beds, named after British Royalty..:D, in the same area,in the same style: Queen Anne Hotel

    http://www.queenanne.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=places&utm_campaign=google_places_ms
  14. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I second this recommendation. One of my friends used to live in Hayes Valley and I loved visiting her there and walking around the neighbourhood. Unless Haight-Ashbury has changed significantly, though, I wouldn't bother - too many tourists trying to pretend it's 1967 and too many shops & hustlers trying to rip them off in their hippie haze.
  15. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I like Hayes Valley and looked for an apartment there at one time. I can see why visitors would enjoy it, but the reality is that it isn't all that different from a number of other San Francisco neighborhoods, including parts of the Haight, where I once lived.

    Sure, the stereotype of the Haight is hippies, and if you only visit a couple of blocks one can certainly find shops there catering to tourists wanting to buy a bong or tie-died shirt from the Haight, but there's plenty of other kinds of stores and restaurants, and certainly many other kinds of people in the neighborhood. (Nobody would ever consider me or my friends who currently live in the Haight to be hippies, and there are a number of young professionals in the upper Haight as well as students because it's fairly close to both USF and UCSF. There's a reason why there's a Whole Foods store there.) The neighborhood is far more than some stores aimed at hippie tourists. For people who like to check out second-hand clothing stores or vinyl records and other used music, the Haight is a good place to go. And, like many other San Francisco neighborhoods, it's a great place to check out San Francisco Victorian buildings. It also has the benefit of being adjacent to Golden Gate Park.

    For any visitor to San Francisco, there is plenty to see, but where to go really depends on the particular person's interests.
  16. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate New Member

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    I've stayed at the Radisson at the Wharf and it wasn't bad. it was $99 a night and they have a pool. It was an online special, my cousin and brother joined us and they had a car - it included her parking. It was easy to take a bus from the Bart station and I was the only adult with a toddler and a young child and luggage.

    We ended up walking a lot to the Italian restaurant area for dinners.

    Personally for good Chinese, I'd take the Bart to Oakland's Chinatown. Mmmmmm..... the best baked BBQ pork buns are there! http://www.yelp.com/biz/wonder-food-bakery-oakland We buy 4 pink boxes full, one for the week we are there, one to take home to freeze and 2 more for family.

    We like to spend as much time at Golden Gate Park as we can. So much to do and enjoy!
  17. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

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    Coffee: If you're going to Blue Bottle, don't go to the Ferry Building (It's just a crowded-ass stand. That said - there's Cowgirl Creamery and Acme Bread at the Ferry Building, which are great. Frog Hollow Farm is best for coffee in the building.) or the kiosk in Hayes Valley (snobby, in a hurry, and burnt). Either go to the full-on one on Jessie at the old SF Mint (they serve hella expensive breakfast, but you get to see the big siphons in action), OR at the rooftop garden of SFMOMA (they have a bunch of overpriced desserts designed after the art in the museum!). The 7-foot tall dude that looks like Frida Kahlo at SFMOMA is the best. They're within a few blocks of each other, and just across Market from Union Square.

    However, jmho, Blue Bottle is the least of the "good" roasters in SF. Try Sightglass in SOMA (7th/Folsom) - huge space, great coffee. Four Barrel on 14th if you're in the Mission, Ritual, etc. Philz in the Castro is fun.

    Hmm, Vietnamese. Supposedly everyone raves over Ta Lun on the south side of Market on 6th (Julia Child loved it). I find it dry and sketchy (it's on the South side of the tenderloin). Yummy Yummy in the Sunset is good. Or, if you like that flavor profile in general, in the Richmond on Clement, there's what a lot of people call the best restaurant in SF - Burma Superstar. I find it meh and overcrowded, but RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET is a place called Singapore Malaysian that everyone ignores that's amazing! Amazing Javanese Ayam Kalasan chicken!

    Hmm, or if you wanna go high-end, The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building is tops Vietnamese in the city, but very popular and expensive (amazing riesling and gewurtztramminer selection though). However, Out the Door, their smaller outpost in the San Francisco Center on Market/4th (across from Union Square) has the full range of gourmet Vietnamese and isn't as expensive.

    I think the best Vietnamese is in Oakland though.

    OH! And if where you're going is along both BART and Muni, take BART. Muni is so frustrating. Two cars per train, never know when a train is going to come despite the schedules, fights break out, etc. Plus, intra-city trips on BART are actually cheaper, and faster.
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  18. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Hmmm... of all the coffee places you mentioned, I'd personally rank Ritual #1, just barely ahead of Blue Bottle at #2. Philz and Four Barrel are certainly very good too and I've enjoyed them very much, just not my absolute top favorites (as I happen to like dark, deep, and burnt).

    As for Muni, I don't see what's wrong with it. After all, you never know what comedic experience could break out at any moment (link NOT SAFE FOR WORK or slightly more safe link. :saint:
  19. lerei

    lerei New Member

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    Where in San Jose will you be? If you're taking light rail, I would suggest going to Campbell/Los Gatos and perusing the shops there. Peggy Fleming's wine shop is in Los Gatos if you're at all interested.

    In terms of coffee, I'm a big fan of Four Barrel in San Francisco and the area around it (15th-ish and Valencia). Lots of fun shops with local designs. Plus, the Mission is usually the place for random food cart festivals.
  20. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Downtown Campbell's pretty but rather... small - about 2-3 blocks. It might be worth going to during the farmers' market every Sunday from 10am-3pm, but just about every other Silicon Valley town has its own weekend farmers' market, like Mountain View, which is a bigger one and is held every Sunday 9am-1pm. Mountain View also has a bigger downtown area than Campbell with much more interesting restaurants like Xanh (fabulous lunch buffet, although this is only on the weekdays, not on Sundays).

    Peggy Fleming's wine shop (the Fleming Jenkins tasting room) closed on December 31, 2011 and from what Peggy told me face-to-face at Nationals in January, the whole Fleming Jenkins enterprise has been wound down, with all the remaining bottles sold. To the extent that you have a car, Testarossa in Los Gatos might be a better choice for a wine tasting tour at an actual winery, without having to go all the way to Napa/Sonoma.
  21. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    I just stayed there this weekend. It was a great location, just a few blocks up from Union Square off Powell -- six or seven blocks south at Market is the Powell BART/Muni station -- and the bed was one of the most comfortable I've ever had in a hotel. The linens and comforter were great. It also had a ceiling fan and a window that opened. My room had a stall shower only.

    Internet in my room was iffy -- I had to keep logging back in on my iPad -- but I didn't have a problem in the breakfast room/restaurant in the basement. I was on the 6th (top) floor, and I think the room was far from the router.

    However, there is no gym. However, it is on Bush, and Powell between Sutter (one block south) and Bush is really steep. You won't need a gym walking around San Francisco.
  22. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

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    The Mosser is one of the hotels IDG, the organizers of Macworld Conference and Expo, has had on their official list of lodgings for multiple years running.

    I asked on a Mac-related list if anyone had stayed at the Mosser and I got one personal report, "I stayed there once around four years ago. The room was kind of small but other than that, it was OK. It wasn't bad but it wasn't fantastic either. Just a decent hotel."

    Between that and the reviews at Trip Advisor, which tend to be pretty frank & informative, I would say if cost is a factor, then The Mosser is worth considering for your lodging.
  23. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    As much as I do like the idea of Trip Advisor, it's important to consider reviews with a grain of salt. There has been a history of hotel owners and their staff manipulating reviews -- submitting false reviews praising their own hotels and denigrating competitors (often by suggesting travelers stay at the hotel owned by the people submitting the false review). In the UK, Trip Advisor was actually ordered to change the wording to remove the statement that its reviews could be "trusted."
  24. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    That must be why Expedia only sends requests for feedback to those who book through them and also claims that they validate that the person showed up and stayed.

    I read online reviews carefully to find out why people are complaining. For example, if someone is booked at a budget hotel and their complaints are relevant to a five-star hotel guest, then I don't take them seriously, and I skip the praise and complaints that are irrelevant to me. On the other hand, if a competitor in the same city is willing to pay to have someone stay and write a bad review, and s/he says that the bathroom is moldy, his or her sabotage is effective.
  25. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

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    I just got one more review of The Mosser from my Mac mailing list.

    This second reviewer agreed with the first guy's review, saying "Agreed. Small, can be noisy but good location."

    Oof on the Trip Advisor concerns. I will keep them in mind the next time I use them for my research.
  26. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

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    I have stayed at the Queen Anne. It was a while ago so I don't know if it has been kept up, but it was perfectly nice for what it is. (I prefer traditional hotels that offer a bit more anonymity but I was with a group of people from work who loved this place so I stayed there too.)

    Love the Slanted Door. I don't care if it's touristy - it's delicious. I had the tastiest uni ever there. And the spring rolls. :swoon:
  27. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Okay, is The Slanted Door for real? I don't buy that Vietnamese food can be expensive. Every attempt at a fancy schmancy Vietnamese restaurant where I live has failed miserably.
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  28. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

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    My experience with Vietnamese food is pretty limited so if you're a purist, don't put much stock in my comments. If you check out yelp, the reviews are sufficiently mixed that it might a risky gambit for you, especially if your preference is for cheap eats.
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  29. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    I've never been to the Slanted Door, but for any restaurant in the Ferry Building you're paying a premium for the location and (if applicable) the water view. Yes, any place in the Ferry Building is going to be good, but with the location price premium in mind you'd best ignore the prices on the menu to avoid letdown. ;)

    I've been to Le Colonial which is slightly less expensive (and it was on a business dinner so I had no compulsion about cost) but a very unique setting in that it's in the back of an alleyway and a dark, sexy, intimate, vintage setting that's almost like stepping into a colonial mansion of yore.

    I don't mind paying top dollar for something that's absolutely worth it, but I'm also value-conscious as well, and just as happy going to a hole-in-the-wall or strip-mall type place that provides decent value for the money. Given the huge Vietnamese population in San Jose, your family down there should be able to recommend many good hole-in-the wall / strip-mall places in San Jose that you'd probably like far more.

    Edited to add: Xanh in Mountain View has a fabulous weekday lunch buffet - surprisingly HUGE selection, surprisingly good quality, stylish restaurant for a sleepy high-tech suburb (Google is nearby and even supplies free wi-fi to most of Mountain View) that's something like $12 or $15 per person.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012
  30. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps that's because you spend so much time in suburbia masquerading as large cities. :saint:
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  31. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    I wish I were headed that way. Their menu looks fabulous:
    http://xanhrestaurant.com/menu.pdf
  32. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    I don't care much for either The Slanted Door or Out the Door. It's not that I'm a purist. It's just that, IMO, there are plenty of Vietnamese restaurants - that have better tasting food for less money. But, it's true that those restaurants generally are not in an upscale location-- there are some good Vietnamese restaurants in the Tenderloin.

    But, what's considered good is really in eye (or tastebuds) of the beholder. For example, with coffee, I think Sightglass is bit overrated, especially given their prices. Yeah, the place is kind of cool looking, but I'd just as soon buy Blue Bottle. But, then again, I'm not a coffee expert. I don't taste a difference between the Blue Bottle at the Ferry Building and the Blue Bottle at the Mint.

    I agree that, if you have a choice between BART and Muni, go with BART. Muni can be very frustrating waiting for a bus that has any room at all.
  33. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

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    The Vietnamese husband of a Seattle friend was one of three people who told me to eat at "The Slanted Door" when they heard I was going to be in SF last weekend (He knows I'm oblivious to atmosphere, too.)

    I was hoping to take a friend there, but her doggie is old, and needs her close by. We had a lovely brunch.in Oakland, instead.
  34. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

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    Aside from the setting, another thing that differentiates The Slanted Door from the average cheap eats place is the quality of their ingredients, which emphasizes local and organic. Maybe even cheap eats places in SF do as well, as I find Californians in general to be much more interested in and care more about the source of what they eat, but in my area, cheap eats = cheap ingredients for the most part. I know there are plenty of people who are indifferent to what they're eating as long as it tastes good, but just wanted to point this out for those to whom it might matter.
  35. jl

    jl Active Member

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    I've been to Slanted Door. It's nice, but I'm not sure if it qualifies as authentic Vietnamese. That being said, I don't know what really is.

    The ingredients are fresh and very well assembled, and it has a great array of beers that work well with Asian food. I liked it a lot, personally.

    Other things I liked in the area include Hog and Rocks, Delfina, Osha Thai (but only on their happy hour discounts), and most sushi I've gone to specifically (Okoze, Tekka, Kiji). Dim sum, for what I've run into there, never matches up positively with Vancouver.

    If you go to Berkeley, go to Grigoire's for lunch, or the Cheese Board pizza shop. So good. Both quite reasonable from what I remember.
  36. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2002
    Messages:
    8,156
    There are lots of restaurants in the Bay Area that serve local and organic. The Bay Area is, after all, the land of Michael Pollan and Alice Waters. IMO, many of these places are better than The Slanted Door or Out the Door. And they can be cheaper, too. Again, this is subjective. Personally, I'd rather have an organic and local tamale from the Ferry Building farmer's market than a spring roll from The Slanted Door or Out the Door. I think a lot of people eat at The Slanted Door just so they can say that they did.
  37. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Messages:
    13,433
  38. BittyBug

    BittyBug Quadless

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    15,094
    I hope you people realize how good you have it. *jealous*
  39. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Messages:
    19,367
    I had no idea it was "that" kind of restaurant. I love the food vendors at the Ferry Building, too.
  40. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    9,175
    So, do the ticket machines at the San Jose light rail stations accept credit card or is it cash only? I am getting inconsistent info on the internets. I am intending to explore SJ via light rail as soon as I land, and my younger nieces/nephews may or may not join. I don't mind paying for their fares, but I don't want to use up all of my US cash on busfare! Can you buy fare passes somewhere inside the airport (i.e. a 7-11 or Walgreens?).

    I will be going to San Fran from San Jose via caltrain. I will be getting a 3-day Muni pass. Is there somewhere at or near the San Fran Station that I can purchase one? According to Google Maps, there is a Walgreen's nearby. Is that true?