The Grove is well designed -- it has a central area with a water display that is designed to attract people. It must have worked, because people naturally gravitate towards the water. On weekends, they have a local band come and play on the patch of grass in the middle -- it makes for a very festive atmosphere. It's fun to go and eat or look around there, as the Farmer's Market is right next to it, and has its own tasty attractions. The only problem with it however, is that for a mall, it actually doesn't have that many stores and the shopping is a little disappointing. It is often very crowded, as well.
This Target is probably the biggest I've been to -- they are just now renovating it to include a grocery section (although I question how good the groceries could be at a department store). Their return policy is great-- I walked in with my return item and was off with the refunded money within a minute of getting to the customer service counter.
Andy's transfer is highly regarded off of movingscam.com, a site that has everything you'd want to know about moving and the scams that can arise from such situations. After much research, we decided to get a quote from them -- Kent Delaney, their appraiser, was very professional and extremely detailed. He went in depth over every possible cost and detail. In the end, his estimate was spot on.
Andy's Transfer contracts with NorthAmerican Vanlines, the guys who do the actual moving. I guess it depends sometimes who actually comes to do your move. In our case, we were luckily assigned to a driver named Feliciano -- and as his name implied, he was one of the nicest guys i've met -- always smiling and very gracious, you could tell he loved his job and was very good at it. He apparently worked up to the point where he owned his own vehicle (which is supposedly the best scenario for a mover) -- He took great care with our things and didn't break a single object. He wrapped everything carefully with moving pads and moved quickly and efficiently. He even delivered everything ahead of schedule, and made sure we had a written checklist of everything that he moved so we could check it off as they arrived. In the end, he went over any missing items on the list and located them quickly. Andy's even lent us several wardrobe boxes so we could stuff our clothes neatly -- and were available to assist when we needed more during the move process. It was a bit pricey, but it was definitely some of the best money I've ever spent -- sure beats a back injury!
It gets pretty busy during weekends, but the wait is usually not that bad-- they have good comfort foods like Country fried steak and pot roast, and their pizzas are good, too. It seems like they have optimized the eating experience for pizzas, as they have a special menu section for toppings and such, and every table comes with a pizza holder in the center. They have big thick seasoned fries that can come with the meal as well. Looks like it would be pretty fun to come here for happy hour, as their bar section is nicely sized, and there are several tvs for sports and games.
A good dessert to try is the pazookie (sp?) -- it's basically a big hot cookie with ice cream on top. mmm.
This place is nicely designed-- very minimalistic, and their packaging suggests the same. Their cupcakes are not overly sweet, and they don't pile on the frosting like some places do. As the new "in" treat, the cupcakes here are probably the best blend for people who don't like getting a new cavity with every bite, but like em tasty. Their red velvet cupcake was delicious!
Oh, and everyone double-parks at the entrance because they have no parking -- I would suggest trying one of the metered areas nearby, but those are crowded too.
This Ranch 99 is not as crazy as some of the other ones in California. Everyone seems a little calmer at this location, which is nice for a change. They have a great selection of asian food, and there are a lot of samples to be had (a la costco style). They even have a nice little Hong Kong BBQ corner where you can order things like BBQ pork and soy sauce chicken off of the hanging rack, and they will cut it up for you.
When we first started renting here, management was courteous and friendly. The building was maintained well, and the front office took care of packages and service requests well.
Since then however, they have replaced the front office managers and now the lady that works there is NEVER there. What's the point in having a front office if it's never open? She would take frequent breaks whenever she was in, and would always leave early.
They have also totally abandoned their current residents so they could upgrade their apartments. They jacked up their prices so people would move out, and constantly have workers climbing on ladders up to your balcony at 8 in the morning to work on really "important" things like the balcony railing. *sigh*
Imagine sleeping and then getting woken up by a guy hammering on your 2nd floor balcony at 8 in the morning. They never informed us of this, and since that first time, it has happened constantly for the last 3 months that we lived there. We even had to live without water for 2 days, so they could replace the whole pipe system in the apartment! Luckily we had friends we could go to closeby to take a shower.
They also LOVE to overpaint everything after someone has vacated-- you can see and smell the layers of paint on everything -- your things will eventually stick to the cupboards and peel off the paint after awhile. Doors and drawers are tough to open. Popcorn ceilings with asbestos is nice, too. Any 'renovations' they do cannot possibly hide the crap underneath. Case in point, when we moved in, they were talking about renovating the elevators. A year later, they had not done anything. As we were moving out, they had slapped on these "luxurious" panels on the elevator walls. The panels were crooked and misaligned, and the floors had not been changed. Nice.
I expected a lot from these guys, seeing as how their New Orleans original is supposedly one of the best restaurants in the world. The food was great, but I was a bit let down. Check out the photos to see what we had. We went during the "jazz brunch," and there weren't that many people there. This led to a sort of depressing atmosphere.
This hotel is beautiful -- the decor is modern, the colors are subdued. They have nice bathrooms and the tvs are big flat screen panels. They also have free wireless, so you often see a lot of people hanging out in the bar area during the lunch hour to have meetings and work. The only problem here is the parking. They have 2 separate hotel areas-- one in the main area at the bottom of the hill, the other at the top of the hill in the "spa" area. If you get stuck up there, have fun walking down the steep hill to the main lobby, or trying to get your car late at night from the non-existant valet service up at the top. If you're there just to relax and don't plan on leaving, it's good. Park a car there whether you're a guest or not though, and be prepared to pay about $23 just to leave it there.
PROS: modern, nice accomodations
CONS: bad parking
Can't say enough about this place-- love the snap to the dogs, love the price, love eating multiple dogs! Everytime we drive by, we have to stop off and grab the special! Wish we had these on the West coast!