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Old 02-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #16
puente0629
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We definitely want to try things you can't just find in any other major city. The Stinking Rose sounds like a great place to start for some yummy food. In Anaheim we definitely will be heading to the Slater's 50/50 restaurant. How about local fast food places in LA or San Fran?

Any restaurant suggestions at DL? We tried Blue Bayou and Trattoria, any others you might recommend?

Also, tickets? I'm completely stumped Should I park hopper, is it even worth it?
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:30 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by puente0629 View Post
We definitely want to try things you can't just find in any other major city. The Stinking Rose sounds like a great place to start for some yummy food. In Anaheim we definitely will be heading to the Slater's 50/50 restaurant. How about local fast food places in LA or San Fran?

Any restaurant suggestions at DL? We tried Blue Bayou and Trattoria, any others you might recommend?

Also, tickets? I'm completely stumped Should I park hopper, is it even worth it?
Apparently the Stinking Rose has opened up a second location in Beverly Hills. Their prices seem to be higher than San Francisco.

They're definitely a tourist trap, but a fairly reasonably priced one where you get good sized portions. I've seen lines out the door.

As for the Slanted Door, I just don't like the vibe I get from the place. It's kind of the place where (for lack of a better way to describe it) white people get their Asian food because going to Chinatown or the Tenderloin for Chinese or Vietnamese would be too challenging. You'll likely be served by a Caucasian server (often with a smugly superior attitude), and a lot of Asian people who have dined there have complained that they were treated poorly or frankly insulted. Here are a few prime reviews:

Quote:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-slanted-...ncGm4VuLKQxy3A

I'm not sure what all the hype is about. It tasted like Vietnamese food for people who never had Vietnamese food. I guess that's why the waiter asked me, a Vietnamese gal, if I needed some directions on how to eat the crepe when he brought it to our table. My friend looked at me and I can hear her saying in her mind, "Oh no he didn't ask her that." Left feeling dissatisfied and mad at myself for wasting my money. The only plus is the view and atmosphere. Not a place to go if you want authentic Vietnamese food.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-slanted-...TPGJYvsCu7Uk-Q

To get to the point, the food and service are mediocre at best...Quick background: My family and I lived in SF for about 10 years and can name about a dozen Vietnamese restaurants with better quality food and service. But a major difference between these places and the Slanted Door is that the SD is about 10x the price of these restaurants AND with an inferior product. We ended-up paying over 4 bills for Vietnamese food and the $ value isn't the issue. At issue is that, for this money, I could have taken my family to some of the best restaurants in the City and eaten and received better service.

My overall impression of The Slanted Door is that it's a place living on it's location first (cruise ship corridor) and it's reputation amongst an unfamiliar tourist 'set' sold on a restaurant with a now underserving reputation for good food. If you live locally you might eat here once but I'll bet you won't go back anytime soon and you might leave the restaurant feeling completely swindled...We did.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-slanted-...JyyTp5yGgBfonQ

Eating at The Slanted Door was akin to pissing money in the wind. I felt completely ripped off when the bill arrived. What a joke. For the bargain price of close to $500 ($360 of that being food) we received some mediocre Vietnamese food that I could have probably ordered in the Tenderloin for a much more affordable price (although I will readily admit the view from the Tenderloin will not be nearly as romatic as that from the windows of The Slanted Door).
Feel free to pay $12 for spring rolls, $15 for daikon cakes, and $35 for a few ounces of their "shaking beef". As for me, there are plenty of places in Chinatown that are pretty good and frankly a good value. The place I'd recommend the most is R&G Lounge. It was featured on "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel, and it is really good. Their specialty is the salt and pepper crab. It's not cheap, but it's not a ripoff. As far as the touristy places go, House of Nanking is pretty good too. It's not exactly "authentic" but they haven't raised their prices to levels that are out of reach. The same owner has a restaurant called "Fang" (his name is Peter Fang). It's near the Metreon. Just ask for the owner to select off-menu items you'll leave pretty satisfied. I remember having dinner there with my wife, and after it was all over I didn't feel like we were cheated. We had a decent amount of food for less than $32 for the both of us including tax and tip.

Here's a photo of the salt and pepper crab at R&G:



As far as Vietnamese fusion goes, Le Colonial comes highly recommended, and that's near the Union Square hotels that have been mentioned. Frankly the first restaurant of its type was Le Cheval in Oakland. A family of 4 could eat dinner there for $60 and leave full.

Actually the most adventurous place I could recommend is Shalimar on Jones St. It is downright cheap, although the neighborhood is **ahem** questionable. It's Indo-Pak and one of the best of its kind in the US. I remember a Pakistani customer asked us what possessed us to order the lamb's brain masala. He said he'd been there many times, but was too scared to order it.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:44 PM   #18
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Yank Sing for dim sum. There are two locations in San Francisco.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:13 PM   #19
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In SF, at least a few hours for the touristy stuff at Fishermans Wharf is a must do. The sea lions at Pier 39 are always a sight. Most of the restaurants there are not recommended, too touristy. However, Scomas is an exception to that. They are excellent. They're not easily visible from the main walking areas. Just a tiny sign points 1/4 block behind the wharf shops. Well worth a stop for lunch or dinner.

For a sunday brunch try the Cliff House. Beautiful views in a historic building with great food.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:04 AM   #20
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Food in SF: In Union Square we love Sears Fine Foods. Out in the Sunset (where I grew up) is a golden neighborhood gem, Marcello's on Taravel. If you are into seafood, you have to check out Nick's Lighthouse.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:08 AM   #21
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I am contributing to the Hijacking but I want to say how much I miss Marcello's and their carbonara. We had some good stuff in Rome, but frankly it was good enough there on Taraval to get my wife and I dreaming of coming back. We lived on 30th and Taraval nearly a decade ago.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:21 AM   #22
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I would recommend Dylan's tour of San Francisco, as well as the sites of the city it took you to Muir woods too. We thought it was a great day all round
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:19 AM   #23
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If you have time the Disney Family Museum in SF is really good.

Last year my mom and I did the repo cruise and we had two days in SF before DL. Mice Chat had a tour of the city after the museum.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:57 PM   #24
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Just a note to the OP, native San Franciscans don't really like the term "San Fran", though it is at least far far more preferable than "Frisco".
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #25
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Just a note to the OP, native San Franciscans don't really like the term "San Fran", though it is at least far far more preferable than "Frisco".
I prefer just "the City"- like there is only one....
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:27 PM   #26
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When we have out of town visitors, we do the 49 mile drive in San Francisco as an easy to follow way to hit all the tourist spots. It's a marked tour and you can follow the signs around the city or get a brochure from the visitor's center, but there is a handy guide book that is nice to have for a little more information on the various sights. We can easily do a quick overview of the city in a day, or more depth in 2 days. This isn't going through museums, but we do generally get out and explore a little in various places like Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Park, etc.

I also would suggest the Bay Area Discovery Museum for the kids, right across the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito. The view is magnificent, it's lots of fun for their ages, and it's in an old fort so the architecture is interesting, too.

The Jelly Belly factory is in Fairfield, about an hour outside of San Francisco without traffic. It's about 20 minutes from Napa, though, so if you wanted to add it to that day, it could work. There isn't much else out there for kids and having done the tour, I wouldn't go out of my way for it if you're not already in that area. Take I-80 out to Fairfield and then HWY 12 up to Napa.

If you are driving up, take the Pacific Coast Highway. The scenery is lovely and it's a far more interesting drive than the 5.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:53 PM   #27
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Maybe too much is already on the plate, but a trip to the Jelly Belly factory could be combined with a trip to Old Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum. My kid absolutely loves the museum.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #28
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Sacramento is another 45 minutes to an hour from Fairfield. It could certainly be done on the same day, but on such a limited schedule, it might not be worth it.
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:44 PM   #29
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Have you booked a trip to Napa that includes transportation? If not, you will need to rent a car for that. Otherwise, public transportation in the city is plentiful and convenient. Driving in the city is very frustrating, and parking costs are outrageous. If you are flying into SF, you are already in the city. If you haven't booked your flight, I would recommend flying into Sacramento, and working your way down 80. We always take the ferry from Vallejo. It is a pleasant ride, and I get to avoid the stress of driving and parking at the city. You can depart at Market street where taxis are frequent, and busses and cable cars are a couple of blocks away. Or, you can depart right at Pier 39/ Fisherman's Wharf, and be about 2 blocks away from cable cars. China Town ( which has several restaurants we enjoy) and Union Square are all accessible from the cable car.
We have even taken our luggage on the ferry. We usually stay at the Chancellor Hotel in Union Square. It is an older hotel with no frills, but we love it there. It is clean, comfortable and conveniently located on the cable car line. We often have a view of Macy's from our hotel room. The restaurant is nice as well. They often have package deals available on their website: www.chancellorhotel.com
Have fun!
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #30
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We are going to San Francisco and Disneyland this spring break! We are driving from Oregon, and have done the drive to the Bay Area/So-Cal many times. I am quite surprised people are recommending that you fly from LA to San Fran. It's like six hours. We would never fly that short of a distance. Even if we had the money, it seems like a waste. Yes, it's a fairly boring drive, but aren't most freeways boring? Brings some books and activities for the kids, they'll be fine.

I personally would not recommend Pier 39. The only thing I liked there was Hard Rock Cafe (which is very cool!). The area just seemed really touristy, and not in a good way.

My number one recommendation would be Alcatraz. Not sure if you said how old your kids are, but I went when I was in the 7th grade and my sister was in the 5th. We both loved it! They have audio tours you can take with you while you explore that are interesting. It's a very cool place, especially on a sunny day.

We also enjoy Coit Tower. The views at the top are great, although the elevator up is a little bit frightening and claustrophobic There is parking, but we found the hike up there to be a fun way to get in some exercise.

I highly suggest you get a guide book and see what is interesting to your family. There is so much to do in San Fran; it's my favorite city!
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