French Hotel

Sited on the west side of Shattuck between Cedar and Vine, the French Hotel* was renovated in the 1980s. Its cafe, often spilling onto the sidewalk, is reliably open on holidays, and that's typically when I go there. The hotel's south-facing balconies overlook the huge parking lot of Andronico's (a supermarket). For the parking lot of Kahn's Salk Institute in La Jolla, Dan Kiley used the kind of gravel you find in the paths of Parisian parks, with beautiful eucalyptus trees for shade. (I think it all went away with Anshen & Allen's addition.) It's too bad Andronico's couldn't do something similar. As it is, they pack the cars in, then fight a perpetual losing battle with "customers" who run off to do their errands elsewhere. I'm told that locals sometimes park visiting relatives at the French Hotel instead of putting them up at home. I've never been clear who else stays there, but it's definitely well-located. With Chez Panisse across the street, it's not the worst place you could pick to camp out.

*: The French Hotel is actually in 94709. This "error" will be repeated


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