Shawn Clover's places

Movie Theater3200 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA(510) 452-3556
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Appeal Excellent Facilities Excellent Service Excellent - Hmm...live Wurlitzer organ performance or defening pepsi ads? Good old popcorn or super-hydrogenated stuff soaked in yellow #7? Museum-like classic projectors display in the lobby or video games? Egyptian-themed theater or plain black paneled walls? Awesome neo-classical interior or uninspiring dull endless hallways? Polite patrons who know how to quietly enjoy a movie or obnoxious talking, texting morons? $10 or $12? Why on earth would you choose a megaplex over the Grand if given a choice?
Corporate Campus1155 Battery St, San Francisco, CA(415) 501-6000
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Quality Poor to fair - I committed the crime of the century. It was pleasant weekday evening, not another soul in the plaza, when I engaged in an act so atrocious, that the security guard marched straight at me with an unrelenting urgency to remove me from the plaza immediately. And yes, I admit I did it. I took pictures of the fountain in Levi's Plaza. I've pretty much photographed every square foot of San Francisco, so I am well aware that photography is the most horrendous possible crime in the eyes of many security guards. And I've dealt with plenty of them. "Fair enough" I said as I packed up my stuff. After all it was private property and they have every right to ask me to leave. But I wanted to know, is it really the policy of Levi Strauss that I cannot take photos of their fountain? Levi's has always been good to SF--do they know what this ABM security firm is up to? I asked more questions, but the security guard turned his back and walked away while describing me to someone on the other end of his radio. Enquiring minds want to know, so I went looking for him again. When I found him out on Sansome Street, I asked his name. "My name? My name is ABM Security!" he barked as he pointed at his patch. At this point, he sprung into a defensive stance and frantically shouted into his radio. He needed backup and he needed it pronto. "Ok, I'll just need to get a few photos of you because I'm going to write about this" I said. This sent him into a tizzy as he shielded his face. "Now he's taking pictures of me without my consent!" he screamed into his radio. I reminded him we were now on public property and I have the right to take photos of anyone or anything. "Now I need your name!" he demanded as I was now going to be arrested somehow. Ok so I admit I can be a bit of a jerk sometimes to these security guards, but this attitude is becoming engrained in me from countless encounters with security guards who have emerged from inside their buildings and demanded that I not take photos of their building from public property. And I was fine with this guy until he went into a tizzy when we were on public property. It makes me think that your average security guard has absolutely zero training. The rights of someone to take photos from public property should be a cornerstone of Security Guard 101 training. Real cops know it well. But then again, cops actually were able to make it through police academy. And come on Levi Strauss, you are better than this. Are you really concerned about photos getting out there of your fountain? Since I was now a fugitive of Levi Strauss, we cancelled our dinner at Il Fornaio since it is on Levi Strauss property and had to go elsewhere to eat.
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Food Poor to fair Decor Good Service Good - SAVE THE TONGA ROOM! Well let me rephrase that: I think a bulldozer would be the best thing for this place. Sure I like cheesy Polynesian places as much as the next guy, but the Tonga Room has just gotten so old and tired. I think the Fairmont should look at this place like a gem that needs some polish. Shut it down for a few months and give it a total makeover--go all-out with the theming, populate it with chorus-singing birds and chanting totem poles, and give us some decent (meaning not all completely fried) happy hour food. As it is, the "lagoon" looks no more realistic than the rectangular swimming pool it was originally built as, and the "rain" looks no better than a badly leaking pipe. Total makeover + better food = tonga room revival
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Quality Poor to fair Facilities Poor to fair Service Poor to fair - After returning to the hotel tonight in the pouring rain, found just one remaining parking spot in the tiny lot--a spot literally two inches wider than our car. After a 35-point back and forth to squeeze into the space, finally managed to fit in and had to CRAWL OUT THE TRUNK of my car... wearing a suit, no less. Asked the gentleman behind the desk how much I was paying for this lovely "parking space" he replied "$20." After dripping wet and explaining what we had been through, he just laughed. No apology, no nothing. I would highly recommend steering clear of this place.
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Atmosphere Good Decor Poor to fair Service Good - Thirsty Bear is a characterless, overpriced brewery/restaurant with that distinct chain restaurant feel. You'd have no clue they serve Spanish food by the looks of the place. I'm still annoyed that, at a local brewfest, they claimed they can fill my 5 gallon keg no problem--but wanted nothing to do with it when I called. Every day I wake up and pray that SOMEDAY we'll get a decent brewpub in SOMA!!
American Restaurant1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA(415) 386-8439$$
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Food Good Decor Excellent Service Very good - This is a great brunch place (well maybe good for other meals, but I've always only had brunch here). While the food might not be overly-spectacular, the location and view are what seals the deal. And how many restaurants have a nice little museum downstairs? There's a great bar too. I consider this place a sort of "mini cliff house"--not quite as formal, but easier to get to and closer to the beach. After brunch, you can take a stroll out to the beach or over to the windmill in GG park.
Italian Restaurant826 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA(415) 348-8800$$
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Food Excellent Decor Excellent Service Poor to fair - Ordered nuvole pasta and a Market pizza along with caesar salad, drinks, and wine. The pasta was excellent as was the pizza. The pizzas are single serving-sized and a bit crispified underneath. The whole theme of the pizza style and vanilla ice cream thing are straight from Boot and Shoe Service in Oakland, but that's fine by me because I love that place too. They seem to have a pizza management problem. We were expecting the pasta and the pizza to arrive at the same time, but instead we watched people sit down next to us after we arrived, order two pizzas, finish their pizzas and dessert and leave before our pizza even arrived. It was over an hour for one pizza. Looking forward to repeat visits since I live across the street...just hope they can speed up the pizzas a bit.
Amusement Center31310 Alvarado-Niles Rd, Union City, CA(510) 489-4359
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Appeal Excellent Facilities Very good Service Very good - I was intrigued by indoor skydiving ever since I was a young lad when I saw it on Evening Magazine circa 1982. I always envisioned a huge cylindrical chamber full of people in Michelin Man type outfits flying around bumping into each other. It's not really like that--the chamber is small and transparent, and it's only you and your instructor in there (with a bunch of onlookers watching from the bleachers or with their noses pressed up against the glass). Oh, and also very fast--you only get 2 one-minute sessions. It's definitely an interesting experience, albeit a short one. I felt like just when I was starting to get the hang of it, my instructor grabbed me and tossed me out the exit opening. Maybe that's the way to get you to come back for more. I really wanted to spend a good half hour in there...but I'm sure I'll be back again sometime.
Grocery Store399 4th St, San Francisco, CA(415) 618-0066$$$
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Quality Good - What on earth happened to the burrito??? I've been coming here for years and frequently order the burrito which used to be a decent size. Tonight I had to look around for the candid camera when I was handed a burrito the size of a Tootsie Roll. Seriously? Some new cost-cutting manager in charge? It was practically nothing but a rolled up tortilla with maybe a teaspoon of stuff inside. I mean this thing was smaller than your average child-sized burrito. Well, back to the Mission if I want a burrito from now on I suppose. Great quality, super-fresh produce, clean store, and nice service...but ouch--how much did that apple cost?? The deli makes an excellent sandwich (good sized too) at a decent price though. Great place to stop by for a lunch to go. minus 1 star for sometimes astronomical prices
American Restaurant1 Market St, San Francisco, CA(415) 777-5577$$$
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Shawn Clover reviewed a year ago
Food Excellent Decor Poor to fair Service Excellent - We were seated promptly at our reservation time and met our waitress, a delightfully friendly and attentive woman who ran through the specials and answered questions with divine expertise. I went with some choices off the market menu plus the wine pairing, which I recommend, especially if you enjoy the variety of switching from a white wine to a red. Service: excellent and attentive--water topped off frequently and they keep the delicious bread coming. Food: everything was top-notch, maybe not mind-blowing good, but certainly no complaints with anything. One note: the small tables can do without the cheesy plastic displays advertising the other restaurants affiliated with One Market.
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