Tomo Sushi is a great South Bay sushi lot that serves fresh fish, warm edamame and an eclectic variety of sushi rolls. Service is can be really slow though and on most weekends the capacity of the restaurant is filled. prices are affordable and the Bento boxes are a great deal for lunch.
Pearl River is a longtime Chinese food restaurant located in South San Jose. They food is good although it's more americanized chinese food. Egg Rolls are huge, the majority of the dishes are pork and chicken and they have a small lunge connected to the back of the restaurant. Service is spotty, some days we have great service, other times it feels like they are rushing to get people out of the restaurant.
Flames on Hillsdale offers up a wide variety of greasy coffee shop foods, but the bakery is where you will find the food that is worth the trip. Glorious chocolate cakes and assorted pies grace the counters and I always stop to pick up a cheesecake for special occasions. The meals are a different story. basic pancake and egg breakfasts are fine but I found the burgers and diner meals to be too greasy plus the portions are too big. Service is always attentive and friendly, but I really think they need to give the booths and walls a good washing.
TJ Maxx off of Hillsdale shares it's parking lot with 24 Hr. Fitness so during the peak gym times parking is does not exist. TJ Maxx carries discounted clothing and home items. This particular TJ Maxx is always messy, finding anything worth buying takes a lot of patience and lots of luck. Recently a trip netted my some Bliss labs bath products as well as a gorgeous Michael Kors tote bag. Other times I've sifted through racks and have found nothing worth mentioning. This TJ Maxx offers layaway but it doesn't not carry furniture like the bigger stores carry.
Loehmann's is located off of McCarthy Ranch Blvd in Milpitas. It carries heavily discounted high end apparel. Brands I saw during a recent trip include Seven, BCBG, Free People, Hugo Boss and theory. The main dressing room is fairly clean and unlike other locations they offer private rooms in the back. Choices are hit and miss, one day I found an amazing pair of Joe's Jeans and a month later the racks were positively bare. Customer service is ok, parking is plentiful and the racks are surprisingly organized for the amount of people that the store sees each day.
Papyrus is located next to White House Black Market in Old Town Los Gatos. There are handmade and commercial greeting cards, scrapbook supplies and knick knacks located all over the store. This particular Papyrus has a sweet staff and the owner/manager is always in the store ready to direct you to the Thank You cards. They also do wedding invitations although that section of store is usually crowded with sample binders. Parking near the store is very scarce so I would suggest driving to the big parking lots nearby and walking.
ACE Rural Supply is my go to hardware store when I need to replace light bulbs and have keys made. They carry feed, tools and even those cute Red Flyer wagons. What I like is that there are plenty of sales clerks throughout the store who always stop to ask if you need help. Prices are a tad bit higher than Home Depot. There is a small parking lot on the side and a few spots in the front but busy weekends mean you have to compete with a lot of other residents for parking. ACE Rural Supply is also family owned so you know you are contributing to a mom and pop business.
Maple Leaf Donuts is located on N. Santa Cruz Ave in Los Gatos, kitty corner from the DMV parking lot. They serve fresh donuts every morning (I think one is $.45) as well as drinks like milk, coffee and OJ. Parking is a disaster if you go between 7-9, things taper down around 10:00am and you can actually sit down on the tables and read the paper. Service is friendly and quick although the store itself could use a good cleaning.
Kamakura is an excellent place to pick up a sushi lunch on the weekends. The Bento box specials are very affordable and comes with a wide selection of fresh sushi and a choice of different meats. Kamakura is on the small side, so get there early for a comfortable seat or after the lunch crowds have left. Service is always fast and very friendly.
I booked the Handlery Hotel to stay at during the MacWorld Conference. The hotel is located near Macy's on Geary St. When I dropped my car off ($32 a day) I had to trek through the entire hotel to get to the lobby. My keys were ready upon arrival and my room was on the 6th floor. The room was relatively clean but had a wicked stale smell. It was hard to breathe in the room, and even turning the temp down did nothing. The thremostat only goes down to 68 degrees. The bathroom was too small, the water pressure was crud although they were plentiful with the towels. Although the Wi-Fi was free it was incredibly difficult to get online during the day. At one point I hiked back down to the lobby because that was the only place in the whole darn hotel that I could manage to get a signal. Although the rates were decent for a last minute SF choice, I won't be returning anytime soon.