I was looking for an oral surgeon near San Carlos that accepted Aetna and decided to try out Dr. Reddy after calling a few places and asking about procedure costs. His practice seemed the most open and honest about procedure costs - and came in lower than most of the place I checked with. His practice in Redwood City seems fairly new and very high-tech, clean and comfortable. Looks like they totally remodeled it recently. Dr. Reddy is a really nice guy. I had a bump in my lip that needed to be removed. He checked it out - explained to me what it was and did the biopsy to remove it all in one visit. Had to watch a video on their flat screen TV talking about how to take care of your surgery site after oral surgery and electronically sign some waivers acknowledging the risks of the surgery. All seemed a bit like overkill to me, but at least it made it super clear exactly what the procedure was about. Dr. Reddy explained my procedure was very standard and not to worry - also explained how the bump was formed when I bit my lip. During the procedure my lip was completely numb so I didn't feel a thing - and he did a really nice job of walking me through the procedure. Total thing took about 15 minutes. Prescribed some Tylenol with codeine in case it was painful - which I didn't end up needing. Had a follow up visit the following week at 8:30am. Was pleased that when I showed up 15 minutes early - he came right out and didn't make me wait, making it easier for me to get to work on time. Everything worked out fine. I'd recommend him.
Just want to state up front that Rigo and his crew get 5 stars for the quality of work they do and 5 stars for the price (they are by far the most competitive on pricing of anyone I've used in San Carlos). I would definitely recommend them for major landscaping projects around your house. Rigo's English is pretty good but it's best to work out any details and pricing in person and write it down together to make sure everything is totally clear. That's the only reason I would potentially give him a 4 for overall rating - but if you know this ahead of time and are game - he's by far the best deal around.
I've used Rigo for two jobs at my house; a $2K project to landscape my side yard which included putting in 3 trees, drilling through concrete and putting in a drip system. And a large $10K project to level off a sloping piece of land, put in two retaining walls, and build a small basketball court and fence. Rigo has pride in his work and likes it to be excellent. He usually points out things to me that he wants to fix rather than vice versa. When we had a problem with one of the trees in the side yard project he came back and fixed it at no charge. From the estimates I've gotten for these two projects, Rigo came in at about 60% of the cost of other guys and the work is great. He's a cell phone guy - so just call the number, tell him that eric recommended you and have him come over to see the project.
We've recently rediscovered Pasta Pomodoro as a great place to bring the kids and still have a decent dinner out for the moderate price. They usually park us towards the back and it's fine if the kids make a little bit of noise. We like that you can order the half caraffe of wine, and we have found a couple of the pastas to be quite good as is the chicken marsala.
I decided to bring my Lexus RX 330 to A Plus Japanese Auto Repair for its 60,000 mile servicing after the dealership (Putnam Lexus) told me the basic cost for this servicing would be $1199. At A Plus - they charged me ~$100 for a minor servicing where they changed the oil, rotated tires and did all the basic tests and fluid checks. They told me that most of the things on the 60K mile servicing checklist that Putnam does were not really needed right now so there was no reason to charge me for replacing perfectly good things. They told me and showed me that the front brakes needed replacement and did that. Total cost out the door for the servicing and new front brakes was ~$550. At Putnam it would have been $1199 for the servicing plus whatever they would have charged me for the brakes.
I loved that they were open on Saturday and able to do all the work same day. (Note: On Saturday they do not have shuttle service so get your own ride). I loved that they emailed and called with a full readout of the basic inspection and told me what I needed. I love that they were way cheaper than the dealership. I met the owner - he was super friendly. These guys are working really hard to win over your business and loyalty and they are a much, much better deal than going to the dealership.
Update 1/8/10 - I just noticed that Putman dramatically dropped their prices to try to compete. Also, I had some trouble trying to schedule an online appointment with A+.
I'm going to start bringing both of my cars there from now on.
With all due respect to the other reviewers here - I think they are wrong. I stopped here on the way back from Tahoe Friday night and had the most amazing mushroom burger I've ever had. Now maybe my love for this culinary delight was enhanced by a day of exhausting skiing and nothing but granola bars and ski lodge food - but I really think it's more than that. First, there were two burger patties on kind of an italian bread roll. Second, the mushrooms were sauteed in carmelized onions which gave the whole thing a juicy sweet taste that blows other burgers out of the water. It rocked. Yes it's a few more dollars than In-N-Out, but the food is remarkably better. Also tried out a piece of their homemade blueberry pie which also rocked. Yes it's a touristy place, but locals eat there too. It's nice to find a fast(ish) food place that decides to use great ingredients and proper cooking methods so that you don't later feel that the food eats you. I'm a big fan of Ikeda.
My wife and I went here Saturday night for dinner before going to the movies down the street. We'd been several years earlier but this was the first time back trying out the new chef. Definitely had a nice time and enjoyed the food and ambiance. We sat upstairs where it was busy but private enough for good conversation. Ordered a bunch of different things and shared. Small caesar salad was big enough for us to split. We each had a "cup" of the crab n' beer soup which is actually bowl sized. It's really tasty - just be forewarned that there is only a dollop of crabmeat on the crostini and the rest is soup. Good but not like a chowder. (Must be why they called it "soup"). We shared the Fresh Pan Roasted Australian Sea Bass with artichoke and cannelini beans in a pesto broth. That was really good - we inhaled it. Wish we had stuck around for dessert because on the way out I passed a waiter carrying the beignets, which looked like heaven. I'd definitely go back.
I discovered this Sports Authority location because it's right across the street from Big Nate's BBQ. It's a nice retail space in an otherwise grim area. Parking is really convenient because they have their own lot.
I took my family to Northstar in the beginning of March for 3 days and we had a great time. We put our kids (age 5 and 3) into the ski school program and they really loved it. The 5 year old was riding the bunny hill lift and skiing down green runs by day 3 and the three year old enjoyed the magic carpet and doing her "pizza" down the the small grade they use for little ones. Both kids loved the hot chocolate breaks and my wife and I loved that we got to ski all day on our own. I would have to say that on Saturday the ski school was a bit chaotic and when we watched our kids they weren't always getting close adult supervision. On Sunday however it was a different story with excellent ratios (4 to 1). I suspect that as the kids get out of levels 1 and 2 and get up on the mountain the instructor to student ratio improves a lot. That said, our kids loved it and want to go back again - so we'd do it again. To avoid long lift lines be sure to head directly to Lookout Mountain - a relatively new part of the hill that seems to never have significant lift lines and offers great skiing. I particularly liked Prosser, Stampede and Boca runs which are moderate black diamonds.
I love Helm. From my experience they are way cheaper and much more helpful than Any Mountain in Redwood City. I rented demo skiis (had my own boots and poles) for 3 days for a total of $70. Any Mountain was going to be closer to $120. For Any Mountain - I had to pick up the skis after 10am on the day before the rental and return them the day after. At Helm, the people were really cool and let me pick up the skiis two days before I was leavinig (just because it was more convenient for me) and they didn't charge an extra day. I also bought helmets and goggles at Helm and found the selection to be better than Any Mountain and the prices lower. They just work harder at making customers happy. As the season progresses they tend to do more aggressive sales than the big chains do. They won't be undersold either. ILove that they are right off the 101 as well. I'm a big fan and will definitely go back to Helm.
I consider Chouchou to be one of the hidden gems of San Francisco dining. Hidden because it's way the heck out in a neighborhood known as Forest Hills (just off Junipero Serra as you enter the city from 280 / route 1 north), and gem because you open the door and step into an authentic French Bistro with great ambiance, food that is second to none in SF, and a French staff that treats you like family.
My wife and I went their for Valentine's dinner. It's a great place for a date or romantic dinner. We sat upstairs on the balcony which rings the second floor and looks down onto the downstairs dining room. There's just enough room on the balcony for your table and walking space for the waiter to get by - so makes for good private conversation without overhearing your neighbors. The food is the real story here. It really was just as impressive and delightful as anything I've had at Gary Danko or some of the other well know 5 star restaurants in San Francisco. The amuse bouche came in two round glasses - one a mix of sundried tomatoes, carrots, and other yummy things, the other a mix of figs, chees & ham that were out of this world. For first course I had salmon wrapped scallops that were magnificent and entree of filet with foie gras, morel mushrooms and lobster sushi was really spectacular. Of course to top it off we did the prudent thing and ordered the house Chocolate tart.
The service was friendly, casual and attentive - all waiters were French. The ebullient chef stopped by a couple times and as we left he stopped us both (as he does everyone) and gave us an enormous goodbye hug while thanking us.
So when you miss those days before kids when you and your wife could just up and go to France for a week - get a babysitter and check out chouchou. You'll love it.