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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katoomba View Post
    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.
    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.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    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?
    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.
    Cigarettes are like squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire. -- @ciggybuttz on Twitter

  3. #23

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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."

  4. #24
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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.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  5. #25
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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.
    Cigarettes are like squirrels. They are perfectly harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire. -- @ciggybuttz on Twitter

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    Ok... then there is an alternative "Victorian Decor" hotel/B&B with 4-poster beds, named after British Royalty.., in the same area,in the same style: Queen Anne Hotel

    http://www.queenanne.com/?utm_source...ogle_places_ms
    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.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  7. #27

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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.

  8. #28
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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.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  9. #29
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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 by UMBS Go Blue; 06-26-2012 at 06:15 AM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    Every attempt at a fancy schmancy Vietnamese restaurant where I live has failed miserably.
    Perhaps that's because you spend so much time in suburbia masquerading as large cities.

  11. #31

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    Xanh in Mountain View has a fabulous weekday lunch buffet - surprisingly HUGE selection, surprisingly good quality, stylish restaurant that's something like $12 or $15 per person.
    I wish I were headed that way. Their menu looks fabulous:
    http://xanhrestaurant.com/menu.pdf

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    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.
    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.

  13. #33
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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.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    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.
    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.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  15. #35
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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.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug View Post
    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.
    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.

  17. #37
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    There are lots of restaurants in the Bay Area that serve local and organic.
    I hope you people realize how good you have it. *jealous*
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    I think a lot of people eat at The Slanted Door just so they can say that they did.
    I had no idea it was "that" kind of restaurant. I love the food vendors at the Ferry Building, too.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  20. #40

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    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?

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