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November 28, 2007

Cold-Filtered Bookmarks

Posted by Audrey Tsang

Bookmark_2 Cold-filtered, refreshing and just launched out of Santa Yelp's workshop is Bookmarks part deux.  Many of you have asked for better ways to peruse your bookmarks - and others' bookmarks for that matter.  Well, 'tis the season, and elves at Yelp HQ have been hard at work to knock this one off your wish list.

Now, when you go to the Bookmarks section of your user profile, you can filter your bookmarks by category and location.  Narrow your bookmarks list down to dim sum restaurants in San Francisco; or find that one alterations place you know you bookmarked last year.  You can also sort by rating, date bookmarked, name, etc...

Next time I'm in DC, I might just have to check out Miriam W's bookmarks of places to go shopping!

CBS Mobile Zone using the Yelp API

CBS Corporation recently announced that it will "light up" midtown Manhattan with the creation of "CBS Mobile Zone", a free Wi-Fi network. Users of this service will be greeted by a "CBS Mobile Zone" home page that includes rating and review information from Yelp.

The "CBS Mobile Zone" team were able to gain access to Yelp rating and review information using the Yelp API, which is available for free from our "Yelp for Developers" site.

A big kudos to the "CBS Mobile Zone" team for using the Yelp API with this great service.

November 27, 2007

A Chip Off the Old Yelp

In a few of our cities, we've started doing some "Celebrity Weekly Yelps," to much success and fanfare. When tasked with trying one out for the Bay Area, Chip Conley, the CEO of Joie de Vivre boutique Hotels, immediately came to mind. What follows are the questions I threw at him and his enthusiastic responses right back. As you can see, the guy loves the Bay Area:

What’s your idea of a perfect 24 hours in San Francisco? My perfect 24 hours would likely be on the unofficial day of rest, Sunday.  I’d jump out of bed and catch a free early morning yoga class in the penthouse studio at the Hotel Vitale (only open to Chip guests), get cleaned up and join some friends at Glide Memorial Church for one of their “only in San Francisco” celebrations in the rough and tumble Tenderloin. I especially like bringing out of towners here as it really provides an insight into what this city is all about: big heart, diversity, innovation, and quirky traditions.  Before we chow down, I would get the heart rate up of my companions as we would climb three hills: (1) the hill from Glide to Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill (to see how the other half lives as they put on a beautiful, ceremonial service in such a European-style setting); (2) we’d drive over to the SF Art Institute which is perched on the side of Russian Hill with its severe Italianate architecture, breath-taking views of the bay, and eclectic art everywhere; and (3) we could walk up to Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower from there so that we could walk down the rickety Filbert Steps on the east side of the hill, one of the most charming and hidden parts of San Francisco (and where I lived for my first 6 years in SF – on Napier Lane). After all that exercise, it’s time to feast.  We’d traverse on over to Foreign Cinema in the Mission (where we can take our dog Sugar Ray) to lunch in the open courtyard and experience this restaurant’s delectable and constantly changing brunch menu. Finally, we’d end the afternoon with a spin to El Rio’s sun-splashed back courtyard for some salsa dancing and some Latin libations.

Where would you take someone from out of town? What makes San Rest_foreigncinema_image1Francisco unique? The ultimate corner to get a flavor of the uniqueness of San Francisco?  It would have to be Café Flore at the corner of Market and Noe. First off, this little café is relatively cheap but knows how to feed ya.  More importantly, the multi-ethnic, multi-sexual, multi-everything crowd makes for good people watching. I’ve tried writing some of my books here, but have always gotten distracted.

Where is a place (or service) or two you would like to keep undiscovered but can’t resist telling people about? Café Gratitude, at 20th and Harrison (there’s 4 locations in the Bay Area), is hard to remain silent about. On the surface, it looks like just a hippy-dippy raw food restaurant but it’s really more than that. First off, the food is plentiful, healthy and damn good. But, I just love the idea that the laid-back service staff asks you a provocative question of the day once you’ve made your order like “What is your calling in life?” or “Why are these people you’re having a meal with important to you?” If you were looking to talk about the weather, this isn’t your kind of restaurant. Furthermore, all of the menu items have titles like affirmations like a special spritzer drink is “I am effervescent” so when the servers bring your food, they also grace you with some positive feedback like “You are effervescent”, “You are wise,” and “You are bountiful.” So, who needs parking validation when you can get this kind of soulful validation with your meal?!

The holidays are approaching, where might we see Chip Conley shoppingAlabaster? I do my best to hide out from the crowds around the holidays so even though my office is a block from Union Square, you’re more likely to see me shopping at MAC or Alabaster in Hayes Valley, at Under One Roof in the Castro, or at George in Pacific Heights.

Favorite Dinner Spot for a special occasion, dinner with friends, to impress a client, to eat at alone, to people watch? If it’s a small, high expense account dinner, it’s got to be Gary Danko as the combination of style, ambience, taste, and friendliness can’t be beat by the more formal comparable top-of-the-line dining destinations. For a little dinner for four, we enjoy going out to the avenues and noshing at Pizzetta 211 with their Neopolitan style pizas and incredibly healthy local salads.  I’m known to eat alone at Isobune Sushi – the place where the toy boats offer you sushi as they go around an oblong river – before going to the Kabuki Springs & Spa for the communal baths and a massage. Keep an eye on Japantown as between the two new hotels (Tomo and Kabuki), Sundance’s new Kabuki movie theater with better art house offerings, a Japanese Pop Culture building that’s soon coming, and a renaissance of the mall in the planning, this could become the ultimate people watching spot in SF.

Have a favorite cocktail, where is it poured? For a number of years (15 to be specific), I didn’t drink alcohol. That’s a long story, but during that time I made sure our team at Millennium restaurant created the coolest non-alcoholic drink menu in the city. As for alcohol, Bourbon & Branch which is just a block away can get me knocked up silly pretty quickly with their stiff, “old school” drinks.

Have any favorite hotels??? How do I answer that considering we operate 19 hotels in San Francisco? Let me give you two quick getaway hotels that are within an hour of the city.  The Hotel Los Gatos feels like a Mediterranean villa, has an amazing Greek restaurant in it (Dio Deka), and is a short stroll to shopping. The Kenwood Inn in Sonoma has a similar feeling with waterfalls falling into two pools, a pond with a waterwheel, a great French-products spa, and spectacular views of the vineyards. Ferry

Any places that you see both tourists and locals interacting in perfect harmony? How can you go wrong with the Ferry Building on Saturdays between 8 and 2 with the west coast’s most vibrant Farmer’s Market?  This is San Francisco's Town Square – the place you run into all kinds of folks you haven’t seen in awhile. It’s a great place for a tourist to feel like a local and to tap into all of what SF has to offer: water views, amazing food, the historic F-line trolleys and jaw-dropping views of downtown, and the bourgeois bohemian nature of this groovy Mayberry RFD by the bay.

November 19, 2007

"In Vino Veritas" at Zanzibar Cafe'

Posted by Meg McLean

Not even a LAZY Sunday could keep the San Diego Yelp Elite Squad away from their most recent Elite party.  Zanzibar Cafe graciously opened their doors and allowed us to consume a plethora of free-flowing wine and beer! As if that wasn't enough... the yummy Stromboli, Hanger steak & mushroom bruscetta, Yellowtail & cucumbers, endless amounts of Olives, and cheese, cheese & more cheese 2048007535_9b6b864ecb only enhanced the experience and made the night that much more memorable!

The night started off with Fellow Elite Yelper Sandy K greeting everyone with a huge smile and open arms as she welcomed us into her home away from home, Zanzibar Cafe'.  It's obvious that Sandy & the rest of her crew take pride in the ultimate Zanzibar experience and boy, was it an awesome party!

The event hosted new Elite yelpers including Ric B, Amiee L, Erik V, Sharon L 2049316682_e072305056_m and Kim M  as well as old school yelpers like Allison H, Jae L, Tony N and MediumCute Christy R. Regardless of new or old, the entire room was a love fest where old memories were revisited and new friendships were made.

When the bottles were dry, only crumbs of the incredible noshes left and with name tags affixed the next stop was Mondo Gelato where we were able to drool over the ooey-gooey-creamy yumminess known as Gelato. Eliter Nat U and his crew opened their doors and shared the gelato love by supplying free Gelato for all those who attended the Elite party!  Thanks guys! As if that wasn't enough caloric intake for the ENTIRE weekend... the group continued on to Basic, for some more adult beverages, yummy pizza and a puppy petting party for Kim D,Miss O and Sarah T.  Wait, what?

"In Vino Veritas" - Latin for “There is truth in wine.” With plenty of wine being poured throughout the evening, the truth about last 2048007475_7296c610efnight in it's simplist form...The San Diego Yelp Elite Party at Zanzibar Cafe' was a group of truly amazing people coming together to celebrate each other and our love for Yelp.

Keep checking the calendar for the next San Diego Yelp Elite Event - you won't want to miss it! (And for more blackmail photos, click here)

Cheers & SYOY!

Your Mistress of Mischief,
M.o.M. aka Meg M.

November 14, 2007

Yelp's First Silent Auction

We've been working hard on putting the fiNishing touches on Yelp's 3rd Annual Holiday Party, and one of the more exciting elements of the night is the "community" of donors that have donated all manner of item for our first ever silent auction. The proceeds all go to YBCA, the museum where we are holding the event, so hopefully you all come out and bid hard and bid strong!

Below are the items up for auction, bring your credit cards, checks and Benjamins:

Gama-Go Giclee ~ Desoto Cab Rides ~ A Night at the Hilton ~ Ooma “Glitz + Glam” Package ~ W Hotel & Bliss Spa PackHoliday_2007age ~ Private Domaine Chandon Tour & Tasting ~ YBCA Performance Package ~ Limited Edition Burton Snowboard Package ~ “White Trash” Butter Package ~ Dinner for 2 at Scott Howard ~ Original Roxie Film Poster Package ~ The Archive & Nice Collective Makeover ~ Tan Bella Glow through the Holiday Fog Package ~ Centerfolds Luckiest Yelper Package ~ Nancy Boy Fabulous Pampering Package ~ American Cupcake To Your Door Package ~ Darling Propaganda Photography Pin-up Shoot ~ King & Co & True Sake Royal Treatment ~ Paxton Gate Fossil Calcite Clams ~ Limited Edition Timbuk2 Bag ~ Elixir Private Mixology Class ~ Stitch Lounge Package ~ Stormy Leather Paddle & Blindfold ~ 1-Year Zipcar Membership ~ Experience Ghirardelli Square Package ~ Novella Salon & Day Spa Package ~ SF Giants Package ~ Original Brian Barneclo Art ~ Ferry Building 2Go Package ~ Titanium Boxing “Raging Bull” Package ~ Haagen Dazs Hotel Stay & 1 Year of  Ice Cream ~ Goorin Bros. Hat Consultation & Fitting ~ ShoeBox Studios Dance Classes ~ Be a BIX Guest Bartender Package ~ Bombshell Betty “Starlet Starter” Package ~ NOPA “Complete the Circle” Lunch ~ Custom-Designed Boots by Jessica T.

Wow, wow, wow, I am glad employees of Yelp can bid on items, watch out wallet!

November 08, 2007

Austin Yelpers Toast Each Other @ Vino Vino!

Fresh off one of the first genuine cold snaps of the season, some graying skies made a perfect night for the warm atmosphere prevalent at Vino Vino, where a room full of yelpers basked in the ambient evening and one another

Some new faces eagerly complemented the smiling familiar yelper faces of lore, and we leaned in close as Vino Vino owners Jerry and Jeff shared the back story on the vintages of the evening, even going so far as to give away a bottle to one lucky yelper toward the end of the night, balanced by some artisan cheeses and pate.  All in all, a perfect way to warm up the night and to discover one of Austin's not-so-kept secrets!  We're suckers for great ambiance and a terrific pour!


November 07, 2007

Yelpers Party with Panache in Washington, D.C.




It’s officially winter in the nation’s capital! Temperatures continue to dip ever closer to the freezing mark but the DC Yelp Elite Squad kept nice and toasty (toasted?) last night with cocktails and tapas at Panache. Elites sampled drinks from Panache’s new list and noshed on hummus, chicken skewers and other tasty tapas.
It was great to see new faces like Aisha M, Jake K and Allan N as well as old school Elites – Julie H, Tom D and Angela N. Nice suit awards go out to Kevin L and Jason C, who rocked them well. This is, after all, DC! Many congrats to our raffle winners, Xi W, Meredith M and Kathleen M who went home with some lovely prizes!

If you haven’t weighed in on Panache yet, what are you waiting for?

Special thanks to Mariko F and Deanna J, who swooped in from Atlanta to help us out!

November 06, 2007

New York's Elite Squad gets the full Brazilian at Cibar...

Posted by Sam Perwin

Img_1237No, we didn't go hairless, but New York's indomitably awesome Elite squad did hit Gramercy hot-spot Cibar last night for some Rio-style fun!  The gorgeous spread set up by the bar led way to much Caipirinha and mischief making.  Much love to our fantastic mixologists from Leblon Cachaça for their guidance.  And many congrats to Alice L for concocting the winning recipe for the Official Yelpirinha (see below for the ingredients!).

We were thrilled to see so many new and fabulous Elites out to play at their first event.  Michael D and Tina M finally got their shirts.  We also met the lovely Eve S, Arielle W, and Theresa X, and gave a much deserved yelpy hug to Kent P and Jen D - both partying hearty Elite style for the first time.

Img_1246 It was also wonderful to see some old favorites like Heather H, and Natalia M - finally back in NYC where she belongs!

Pics are here.  Listing for the event is here - tell us what you thought!  Yelp's all about opinions after all...

And finally, without further ado:

The Official Yelpirinha:

2 oz Leblon Cachaca
3 lime wedges
4 tart cherries
2 lychees
1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar
Splash of elderflower cordial
Splash of cranberry-ginger coulis

Muddle all the fruits and sugar well. Add a splash of the elderflower cordial and cranberry ginger coulis. Fill the glass with ice to the top. Add Leblon Cachaça. Stir well or use a shaker.

Enjoy my faithful Yelpers!  Until next time!
~Sam P.

Boo!! It's The LA Yelpoween Wrap Up!

Posted by stephystacks

Steph_and_beer_in_a_box_2Well it's official...LA Yelp ROCKS!!

And while we all kinda knew this, after witnessing the craziness and costumed-up shenanigans at our first annual Yelpoween Bash at the Blue Goose Lounge in Hollyweird, there's absolutely no question that LA's Elite definitely know how to partaaay!

One of the main party standouts was definitely the awesome photo booth set up compliments of LA Photo Party, who brought the wild, spaztastic and oh so fun side out of every guest who attended the bash. Big thanks to Brian and his team for eggin on the fun!

Other party hits included Judy W, JayChan H and Myko L, Kampy S and Andi P, Edgar C, Mike L and of course that Stephy S character pictured here with LA Yelp's newest addition to the Community Management team; Aunny D. Other costume faves included Victoria C, Jon J, Jim A and Buttercheeks Maral A and of course who could forget K Fury Sam Y and his harem of girlfriends for the night!

Additional thanks go out to Tiger Beer who helped fuel the fun for the night and a big shout out goes to Blue Goose Lounge owner Doug D and his crew for allowing a few hundred yelpers to wreak havoc on his humble establishment for the evening! Ahhh, good times.

Are you now wondering why you weren't allowed in on the fun, well, click here and check out what it takes to be Elite and maybe we'll see ya at the next shindig!

November 05, 2007

Ever Worn Pjs to a Bar?

Posted by Ligaya T

SavantwideWell, most of the Boston Elites hadn't either until the spectacular PJ DJ brunch at The Savant Project on Saturday where guests sampled the launch of the new menu, complete with blackberry basil mimosas and wasabi bloody marys.

Savantwinner_2A wicked noreaster didn't stop yelpers from packing the house in their bedtime best.Savantsmooches Liza H was ravishing in a red feathered robe and curlers. Melissa C, Sue K, Beth E and Orly M joined in for their first taste of elite party mayhem while Brian D, Jon G, and Jessika D showed em how it's done, a drink in each hand and a smile on your face!

To go along with the savant theme, sudoku, Snatch and other brain stimulating games were scattered about the bar to yelpers' delight. Maria V, Nate Y and Damien S engaged in many a game of SET. For those who wished to get some kinesthetic exercise, co-owner Benny spun a sweet mix of tunes for Sarah R and Sasha R's dancing pleasure.Savantset

Savantbennydj Kudos and cheers to the folks at SP, Bobby (Barry), Renee, Chef Issac, Benny and Luis, for three hours of hustling to accommodate the hungry yelp massive! In the spirit of sharing our good fortune and spreading the love, Chere P, coordinated a food drive where guests brought canned goods for donation amounting to 121 in total, exceeding the amount of people! Way to go, team!

Take a peek at Shannon B's glorious photos and pine away until next month when you too might get to party it up with the Boston elite squad, cuz we be craaaaaazy.

All Smiles,
Ligaya T

Seattle Celebrates Oyster New Year!

Posted by Michelle B

Elliottsdj1 The question, "What are the Seattle Yelp Elite game for?" has been answered: ANYTHING!

Thursday night found us all out on the patio (tented and heated, of course) at Elliott's Oyster House enjoying fabulous company, sipping (read:gulping) Tommy Bahama rum cocktails, and trying out some of the best seafood in Seattle.

Elliottsluge2 Knowing that Yelpers would be up for anything Chef Jeremy broke out the world famous "Oyster Luge!" Sean T & Denice M were some of the first to try slurping some oysters that came flying down the ice sculpture. Not to be left out, the vegetarians got to enjoy the worlds first ever (I'm assuming since we made it up) "Tofluge!" and it looks like Michael O & Sylvia L enjoyed being tofluge guinea pigs.

Elliottskaitlynmichelle3 A big thanks to everyone who helped out; to "the best intern ever" Kaitlyn M for workin' the guest list, and to Scott K & Zach G for helping with all the manly stuff, and to Helen H for always stealing the camera to ensure we have a bunch of great photos!

Until the next event - SYOY! Michelle B

November 01, 2007

Portland Elite Kickoff Party!

Posted by Laura Nestler

With the first elite event under our belts, Portland's Elite Squad can now join the throngs of veteran yelpers who have brought “real people, real reviews” to real life!

Last Tuesday, Siam Society was a gracious host as 50 elites and their +1s mixed and mingled for the first time under one roof. With the signature Yelpojitos flowing and bottomless sweet potato fries, lettuce wraps, and spring rolls, we were bound to have a yelptastic evening!

Seattle’s very own Michelle B was instantly impressed by the new kids on the block, and her only question echoed that of many others: “When's the next one???” As the night progressed, yelpers were pleasantly surprised at how much they enjoyed one another’s company! Rebecca H summed this up nicely: “I read reviews and think, ‘that person seems really smart, interesting, and fun’ now I've met some reviewers and not surprisingly, they are smart, interesting and fun! The reviews on Yelp are an honest reflection of the people writing them!”

Kimberly V gives “big ups to Siam Society for feeding and inebriating us,” and Krista T has named Siam’s as “the new jump off.” Even those who came late like Michelle H gave kudos to Siam Society for “keeping us well stocked all night.”

What began as a giant Yelp semi-blind date turned into a sure thing as yelpers quickly planned the after party at Cassidy's. Overall, the night was a great success and left us all jonesing for more of that delightful elite action. A huge THANK YOU to Siam Society, especially bartender Don, and the owners Paul and Adrienne; to Michelle B for making the 180 mile trek and amazing work at the door, and of course, all of the elite members for being as useful, funny, and cool off-line as they are on.

Save the date for the next UYE: November 7th at Mint/820!
Until then, we’ll SYOY!