Review: Chef’s Experience

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 5/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited: A few   ♦   Will I Return?: Yes Indeed
___________

Chef’s Experience China Bistro is one of Hayward’s newest chic restaurants stationed bravely on Foothill Boulevard near A Street.  They’ve cleverly revamped this rather large space to accommodate a stunningly modern design, with elegant and tasteful decor that is a complete surprise when entering from the dingy parking lot behind the run-down shopping center where CE is located.

Let’s face it, downtown Hayward needs a face lift.  It’s gotten better over the past few decades – B Street can actually gather a crowd (that isn’t necessarily gang related) on a Saturday night – but overall, the decrepit storefronts that line Foothill, Main, and Mission and many of the cross streets aren’t terribly desirable destinations for most folks, especially the younger crowd.  And while many businesses have tried to change this, only few have succeeded like Chef’s Experience has…. 

Read More »

News: Mimi’s Cafe Free Breakfast Deal

Update: Mimi’s is now closed.

This is just a teeny quick note about Mimi’s because I thought it was such a good deal that I should share it with the internet.

_____________

Mimi’s is a total chain restaurant, no buts about it.  There’s just as much crap pasted to the walls and artificial pep in the hostess’ smile as at Applebee’s, Marie Calendar’s or TGI Friday’s.  But at Mimi’s Cafe they offer a free breakfast deal if you join their online club.  I know, I hate online clubs too.  I don’t want junk mail or a thousand emails a day, and I don’t want to be sold to a bunch of other spam lists.  I can’t attest to the last of the three, but I’ve only gotten 2 emails from them in the past few weeks, and I didn’t even give them my mailing address…. 

Read More »

Review: Bombay Garden

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited: Two   ♦   Will I Return?: Yes Indeed
___________

Bombay Garden is on Mowry Avenue in Newark (and I thought it was Fremont?!), near New Park Mall just west of 880, and surely has one of the most impressive Indian buffets known to the Bay Area.  This was my second visit to The Garden and I dare say that it will not be my last.

There are apparently four locations of Bombay Garden (Newark, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Rafael), though I am only qualified to comment on the Newark location.  But I would extend my recommendation to any of the other three locations; if they’re anywhere near as good as Newark, they deserve a visit.  The Newark location is a huge country-home style place, that looks like it might house a Mimi’s-type All-American restaurant of a bygone era.  And bygone is fine with me, Bombay Garden can take over any establishment they want in my opinion.  Think they might want to open one in my house?

Seating area and statue inside Bombay Garden.

… 

Read More »

Review: New York Pizza

Atmosphere: N/A   ♦   Service: 3/5   ♦   Food Quality: 3/5   ♦   Value: 3/5
Times Visited: One   ♦   Will I Return?: Probably Not
___________

The other night, the boyfriend and I decided to take the advice of an informative and wise mass-mailed flier and try a little known Hayward pizza place called New York Pizza.  They offer reasonably priced pizza and free delivery and so we figured, what the heck.

The flier indicated a phone number for the Hayward location.  Upon calling, they directed us to a different phone number, apparently also in Hayward.  Since this was all over the phone, I can only assume, with the help of Google Maps, that the first call was made to the Tennyson branch, and the second call was to the store at A Street and Foothill…. 

Read More »

Review: Nona’s Kitchen

Update: Nona’s is now closed.

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited: Two   ♦   Will I Return?: Sure
___________

Nona’s Kitchen is a cute little restaurant tucked quietly into a shopping center way out in Pacifica.  First of all, I’ve lived in the Bay Area for most of my life and I had no idea where Pacifica was before my friend moved out there.  Furthermore, I had no idea that a city in the Bay could be so freaking far away from Hayward and still be considered an official part of the Bay Area.   Regardless, now I know about it and I’m glad that my introduction to Pacifica was via this yummy café…. 

Read More »

Review: El Torito

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 5/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited: Two   ♦   Will I Return?: Sure
___________

El Torito is a chain restaurant – it’s true.  I try to stay away from reviewing chain restaurants as a rule, but eventually I end up at one and I just want to blog about it.  And after patronizing El Torito’s Sunday Brunch for a second time, I think it’s time something was put into writing.

There are almost 60 El Torito’s all around California and one or two in Arizona and Oregon. It’s an established chain; there isn’t a whole lot of mystery lying in wait behind those sandblasted doors.  But being a chain doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality is low or that it is not authentic – it really just means that it’s consistent among the different locations.  Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to mean.  And even though I can’t comment specifically on the consistency (I’ve only been to the San Leandro and Foster City locations), I can say the food is good.  More specifically, the Sunday brunch is excellent…. 

Read More »

Review: Favorite Indian

Atmosphere: 4/5   ♦   Service: 4/5   ♦   Food Quality: 4/5   ♦   Value: 4/5
Times Visited: A Few Times   ♦   Will I Return?: Yep
___________

Favorite Indian started out as a tiny restaurant on A Street just east of 2nd Street in Hayward.  They had a killer-value lunch buffet that was small but soooo cheap and very tasty.  I guess they’ve been doing well because they’ve moved into a far larger location just near the intersection of Jackson, Mission, and Foothill.  Flashback to the past – this new facility used to be Sizzler, then Perko’s Cafe, followed by El Rancho Steakhouse, then maybe something else – anyone?  Where are my locals?

Anyway, moving away from Hayward Historical Trivia (which I’m probably not very good at), Favorite Indian has moved to the big time, so to speak.  They’ve really done-up the old Sizzler (it will forever be Sizzler to me) nicely with dark colors and a sophisticated theme.  It looks great…. 

Read More »