Riding the California Zephyr Train San Francisco to Chicago

I recently decided to abandon temporarily the sardine-canned airplane travel experience and take the train from San Francisco to Chicago.  The California Zephyr train, which departs daily from Emeryville, CA near Oakland (San Francisco has no Amtrak station, but a bus shuttle is provided from the SF Ferry Building to Emeryville), is truly one of […]

Top 10 destinations for spring

Springtime means sunshine, warmth, flowers and fresh brilliant green pastures, and our top 10 destinations for spring promise to bring you just that. Spring also means Easter, Passover (Pesach), Ascension (Himmelfahrt, Hemelvaart) and Pentecost (Pinkster, Pfingsten) holidays, during which many people take a few days or a week (or two) off. Here are our favorites […]

Hotel By SFO: Aloft San Francisco is a stylish option by the Airport

If you are looking for a hotel by SFO (San Francisco airport), there is a new and stylish choice: Aloft San Francisco Airport, which opened in fall 2012. It is a half-mile from the airport, a half-hour drive south of downtown San Francisco, and a short drive from the Peninsula’s business hubs and attractions such […]

St. Vincent Tavern: bold flavors, cool interiors in San Francisco

St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant is one of the most recent restaurant openings in the Mission District of San Francisco. It is owned by David Lynch, the former sommelier at Quince and Cotogna. The chef is Bill Niles, who used to cook at Bar Tartine. What impressed me about the food at St. Vincent […]

PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn: refined and elegant lodgings in Lake Tahoe

With 58 rooms and luxurious suites, the inn has picturesque views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is part boutique hotel, part ski chalet, and fully relaxing. The rooms are spacious and well-designed with décor that is a bit funky and whimsical with metal vanities and soothing lighting.  However, PlumpJack doesn’t skimp on comfort and […]

Moya: delicious Ethiopian cuisine in San Francisco

Moya is the latest Ethiopian restaurant to open in San Francisco and one of the best places to get vegetarian food in the city. Located in the south of Market (SOMA) district, Moya’s airy restaurant is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. We tried the lunch vegetarian special ($15) for two persons which includes kik […]

Bai Thong: delicious northeastern Thai food comes to San Francisco

Bai Thong (“banana leaf”) is a new Thai restaurant on Gough St. (at Fell) in Hayes Valley. It specializes in northeastern Thai dishes (which tend to include lime juice), although they also serve southern Thai dishes such as red and green curries, and a few Northern Thai noodle soups. We tried the following dishes (and […]