My dad's Volvo (his baby!) was having some issues, and I kept putting off taking it in because I did not know where to go. Being a female who knows very little about cars, I was very paranoid about getting swindled by sleazy mechanics. I was also paranoid because my dad had always kept his car in excellent condition, thanks to his trusty Volvo mechanic, but I had the car out of town, and I needed to find a trusty one fast. I scoured the net for some recommendations and found Ackerman's Volvo Service highly rated. First of all, the owner Bruce Ackerman is a Volvo guy. Since he specializes only in Volvo, loves Volvos, and is a Volvo owner, I felt there was good reason to trust him. He was honest with me, explained everything clearly, and answered all of my questions. He also detailed out all the service on the invoice so that I could take it back to show my dad. If you need to get shuttled somewhere nearby (Berkeley BART, etc), Bruce will gladly drop you off. I did have to spend a few hours of my weekday morning waiting there until my car was ready because my office is about 30 miles away. The rates were reasonable, and I was very satisfied!! I could rest assured that my car was in good hands!
PROS: Friendly staff, trustworthy, personal - not like a chain or dealership!
CONS: Was a bit of a wait, small waiting area.
I was looking for a cute haircut with a touch of funk, and I did not get it here from one of the stylists! What I did like was the colorist's job she did on my hair. It seems like there are a lot of staff coming and going, so I am not sure how easy it is to always go to your favorite stylist or colorist. A bit on the expensive side - I think my cut was $55-60, and color (I think it was custom) was close to $70. I didn't hate my hair cut - it just wasn't what I was looking for. I would definitely go here for something safer and trend-right-now.
They only style if you get a hair cut there. I got my cut and color at separate times, so they did not style my hair for me after the color. They have a room filled with products, brushes, and blow dryers where you can do it yourself.
Parking was a bit of a pain, although I've only gone on the weekends. This place has a large staff, so it gets a bit crowded and noisy. I liked their tea selection, and the environment is quite professional.
PROS: Guaranteed a trendy hair cut; also highly recommended for color
CONS: Parking was tough, and it's a bit expensive.
Barberella Beauty Lounge was recommended to me by a stylist I used to go to in Los Angeles. I wanted a place that was similar - that could do interesting haircuts - funky, even experimental. The closest I've found to that was at Barberella. The staff is great - I was unsure a little at first because they all had brightly colored hair! - but they can make whatever vision you have of your new hairstyle work! They serve you tea when you get there, like most places. My stylist spent about 20 minutes just talking to me about what I want to do with my hair. I did not feel rushed at all, and was treated very well, with lots of patience. Expect to spend about $55-65 on a cut.
Parking on side streets was pretty easy to find, and I found that it was much more relaxed to go in on Saturday at 10:00, just after they've opened. The shop is smaller and more intimate than a lot of other places I've gone to. I've gotten my hair cut a couple of times there so far, and I haven't been disappointed!
PROS: Unique, nice decor, good for cuts and colors
CONS: Appointments book up quickly - sometimes almost a month out!
I haven't been to a whole lot of Indian restaurants, but this is the best one that I've been to in the bay area! This is a great choice for large groups. You can order many dishes and try everything! My favorite Indian dish, Chicken Masala, is excellent here! The garlic naan is to die for. The good thing is that there are several locations around the bay area - I have been to the 2 locations in SF, and I hope to check out the one in Union City sometime soon. (I had Naan & Curry for the first time after Shalimar, and it just wasn't as good in my opinion.) Highly recommended if you are in the mood for Indian food!
PROS: affordable, good for large groups
CONS: bit of a scary area, might get crowded
I went to Masa's near Union Square for an anniversary dinner. I got to choose between a 4-course, 6-course, or 9-course chef's tasting menu. I had the 9-course, and it was spectacular! The service was excellent, of course, this being an expensive restaurant. Great for special occassions. Waiters bring out each dish and explain to you what they are made of. For each course, my boyfriend and I received a different take on a theme (for poultry, he had duck, I had squab). Highlights of the meal: the scallop appetizer, Japanese sea bass, and caviar. The more courses, the smaller the portions. I was full, and very impressed! A great fine dining experience, very romantic setting. Definitely make reservations. Gentlemen must wear a jacket - no jeans allowed!
If you are lucky, you might find street parking. Otherwise, I recommend parking in the Sutter-Stockon Garage. It's only about a block away!
PROS: Excellent service (you pay for it!), multi-course tasting
CONS: Higher prices, 6 and 9-courses don't give you a choice