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FAQ: New to the California Board? Read This First!

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Are you new to Chowhound? Or just to the California board? Perhaps visiting from out of state? We've got some tips to help you get started.

If you're brand new to the site, you should read our Site Etiquette (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605) before you start posting.

This board is the place to discuss chow in all of California outside of the Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego Area. Lake Tahoe, including the parts in Nevada, is covered on the California board. It covers a large area, so whether you're posting a question, a tip, or a report, please indicate the city in the Title of your post.

For tips on the Los Angeles area (LA, Orange and Ventura Counties, Southwestern San Bernardino County), please see our LA board: http://www.chowhound.com/boards/2
For tips on the San Francisco Bay area (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin Counties), please see our SF Bay board: http://www.chowhound.com/boards/1
For tips on San Diego, please see: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/65
For a complete list of boards available, see "Choose a Board' from the menu above.

This post is separated into sections to make it easier to follow, but please, read all the way to the end. The sections are:

HAVE A HOT TIP?
HAVE A QUESTION?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THIS BOARD
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
AFTER YOUR MEAL
CALIFORNIA SPECIFICS
FEEDBACK

  1. HAVE A HOT TIP?
    If you've got a great tip or a recommendation for someone, dive right in and post it. It's great if you can include some details of why you like a place, but even those short tips on where to find a great taco or donut are appreciated. Because this board covers so many areas, please be sure to specify the city or location you are referring to.

    To start a new thread, use the "Chowhound Discussions" menu in the navigation bar at the top of the page to go to the index of the board, and then choose the "start new thread" button.

    1. HAVE A QUESTION?

      The California board is a pretty active place, and a lot of questions have been covered recently--the Chowhound archives are a great resource.

      Start your quest for an answer with a search of all the great info that's already out there. The search box is in the top right corner of the screen. If you're searching from this board, it should default to searching California. Just add your keywords and go. On the search results page, you can change your search criteria to add more keywords, or change your sort order or the dates you're interested in.

      1. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE CALIFORNIA BOARD:
        (and how to find the answers)

        - We’re coming to San Diego and staying in the Gaslamp/near the Convention Center/beach/La Jolla/Coronado where should we eat?
        Search terms to try: "SD", San Diego, the neighborhood name, the name of the attraction.
        Add a type of cuisine to narrow your results.
        San Diego County covers a lot of area, and not all the threads about it will be labelled SD or San Diego. Searching by neighborhood or town names will uncover many more threads.

        - I’m driving from X to Y (LA to Big Sur, SF to Mendocino, San Diego to Santa Barbara, etc), where should I eat?
        Search terms to try: driving, the name of the highway you plan to take ("I-15"), names of cities you will pass through on your trip, roadtrip

        - Where can I find good food and a nice view in X?
        Search terms to try: "view" and the name of the city or neighborhood you're interested in.

        Where's the best brunch/sushi/burger/fish taco etc?
        Search terms to try: title:best, the name of the food you're looking for, the name of the city you're interested in.

        Where should we go for our special occasion?
        Search terms to try: anniversary, "special occasion", proposal, romantic, birthday, in addition to the city/neighborhood. If you’re looking for a nice view, add view to your search as well.

        Where should I plan my group dinner?
        Search terms to try: the city or neighborhood name, and "private room", "buy out", corporate, group, "holiday party", "large group", “business dinner.”

        1. STILL HAVE A QUESTION?

          California hounds are a great resource, but help them help you by including some important details. Tell them:

          - What city or part of what city you'll be in.
          - How far or how long you're willing to travel and whether you will have a car.
          - What your budget is. Descriptions such as 'expensive', 'moderate' and 'cheap' mean different things to different people, so use dollar values.
          - What types of cuisines you're interested in.
          - Any other special circumstances (traveling with kids? vegetarians? non-chowhounds?) that will help

          If you've done some of your own research, mention what you found so hounds can help fill in the gaps, rather than rehashing what you already know.

          1. AFTER YOUR MEAL
            Most importantly, after your trip or your meal, thank the CA hounds for their help by reporting back. Tell people which suggestions you used and how the meals turned out, plus add tips about any great places you discovered on your own. This helps maks the board more useful for everyone who visits after you.