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July 31, 2009

Yelp Elites Got Crafty at the Museum of Contemporary Craft!

Posted by Don Bourassa

They're crafty - they get around
They're crafty - they're always down
They're crafty - they've got no gripes
They're crafty - and they're just our type...

Yup. Just like a super-bad Beastie Boys song, Yelp Elites got crafty at one of Portland's best hidden gems: the Museum of Contemporary Craft.  Over 100 of Portland's finest gathered in the Pearl on one of the hottest days of the year to enjoy an exclusive look at Call + Response, try their hand at printmaking and cup-pimping, and of course, to partake in some delicious cold beverages.

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Walking inside from a balmy mid-90's day, Jenny C made a beeline for the ice cold cosmos, Matt M snagged one of Don B's own secret recipe sangria and of course, JW D headed straight for the frosty brews. Once cooled down, Bob S and friends enjoyed an exclusive private look at some amazing hand-done silk work, trippy magician videos, and a crazy interconnected display of ceramics work. All and all, the art installatins were a hit!

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If the art and the drinks weren't enough, Elites got to try their hand at printmaking, courtesy of the awesome staff of MCC volunteers. Dan H enjoyed learning how to turn a photocopy into a cool oil print! Not to be out-classed, Yelp sponsored its own crafty workshop: a make-your-own-pimp-cup station! Julia L and Matt E got down and dirty with some blue goblets and sticky jewels to create some downright crunktacular chalices! There's nary an Elite in P-tizzle that doesn't have their own bejeweled pimp goblet. Talk about edu-tainment!

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A big thanks are in order to the Museum of Contemporary Craft for opening up their special world to our Elite Squad for a super-exclusive inside look at some of the most amazing works coming out of the Portland (and international) scene, and to Rebecca, who was incredibly easy (and awesome) to work with. Thanks for the volunteers and the folks who showed us how to turn a simple image into a super-cool print, and to those who educated us on what exactly we were staring at on the walls and the pedestals. A big thanks to Andrew C and his magical camera skillz (and that fish-eye lens) for some great snapshots. Of course a thanks goes out to our lovely bartenders Hilary, Malia and Katie, without whom we'd be a lot more sober. And last, but not least, thanks to the Portland Elite Squad for being the best damn Elite squad in the nation.

Yeah that's right, I said it.

Check out the reviews and photos, if you don't believe...

Until next time, SYOY!
--Don B.

Silicon Valley Elite Get Their OM (Nom Nom) On at Sakoon!

Posted by Connie Chang

On Wednesday night, Yelp Elites had the pleasure of wining and dining at Downtown Mountain View's newest culinary addition, Sakoon! Upon entering, everyone was wowed by the restaurant's colorful and contemporary interior, complete with an impressive bar, hand-carved wooden panels and fiber-optic chandeliers.

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Yelpers sampled bites which blended traditional and contemporary flavors representing multiple Indian regions. Wine flowed throughout the evening, as glasses were filled with EOS Estate Winery's Zinfindel or Chardonnay, Gazela Vinho Verde and Villa San Juliette Petite Sirah. Guests also downed shots of one of Sakoon's signature cocktails, Monsoon Wedding, with Hypnotiq, and refreshing Ed Hardy Vodka-tinis.

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To add to the liveliness of the event, the mezzanine was transformed into a Henna & Bindi Art Lounge, where Rachna of Henna and Beyond showed off her artistry and adorned guests with beautiful and intricate designs.

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A huge thanks goes out to Balkar, Niru, Karam, Michael, Executive Chef Sachin Chopra, and all the other wonderful staff at Sakoon who made this event possible! And of course, thanks to Kirsten of Sapphire Brands and Rami of Frank-Lin Spirits and Fine Wines for providing the libations of the evening. Don't forget to catch the recaps from your fellow yelpers here, and peep the photos snapped by our photographers, Cindy C and Dave K.

July 30, 2009

Seattle's Yelp Elite Get It Twisted!

Posted by Katie Scharer

The record breaking heat (no really, it was 102 degrees) wasn't enough to keep Seattle's finest from gettin' twisted at 0/8 Seafood Grill & Twisted Cork Wine Bar on Wednesday night. Luckily, we had the A/C pumpin' in the the joint like nobody's business and everyone kept cool!

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Yelpers were encouraged to "Get Twisted" by wearing a twisted tie. Penny ties, Police tape ties, and lots of other interesting neck-gerie in the house last night made for some seriously hilarious photo opps. Seattle's Yelp Elite imbibed on 10 Cane Rum Mojitos, beer, and wine, while they nibbled on bruschetta, scallops, and crabcakes from 0/8's menu.

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With twisted ties and twisty straws in-drink, Yelpers voted on their favorite ties. The winners of the craziest neckwear were Sarah G (the massive red Yelp tie) and Henry L (Mr. Photo/ Post-it tie) who won a Molly Moon's gift card and a Slip N' Slide: the only one in all of Seattle still available for purchase from what we saw. Hopefully, we'll all be invited over to Henry's place to partake in the fun... whaddya say?

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A big thank you goes out to the wonderful, hard working folks at 0/8 Seafood Grill & Twisted Cork Wine Bar, 10 Cane Rum for some delicious libations, and to our very own Henry L for snappin' pics! For his fabulous photos, check out our Flickr page. To read reviews of the event, click here!

Until Next Time Seattle,

Keep Cool... and SYOY!

Katie S

Dallas yelpers cruised for Fuse

Posted by Nikki B

The rooftop pool deck of Fuse was bursting at its seams last night with 100+ Dallas yelpers for their first Elite event in four months! They were ready for a smash-tastic party, and that's what we gave 'em!

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Anna and the team at Fuse didn't hold back to show Dallas Elites a great time. There were fancy Fuse mojitos, Asian pear martinis and Asian beer imports (which inspired butt fans for a few yelpers). There was spicy edamame, tasty chicken skewers and sophisticated popcorn treats in Yelp Corn bags. And let's not forget about the Poi dancer who threw around knives and fire like they were toys!

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After the food was gone and the drinks were flowing in full force, Dallas Elites hammed it up for the camera. Though no one jumped in the pool or got caught on fire, there was plenty to talk about as pre-party stories of Awkward Jenga made their way into conversations. There were even a couple of new Elites in the crowd, and we only hope the craziness didn't scare them away!

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As you can tell from some of the snapshots from the evening, Fuse showed these Elites how it's done. Looking forward to doing this all over again in August...it's going to rock your socks off!

Nikki B

Toronto Yelpers Will “Never Forget Their First” Elite Event!

Posted by Kat F.

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This past Tuesday, nearly 70 Toronto yelpers descended upon Salvador Darling, a beautiful hidden gem in the heart of Parkdale to enjoy the city’s inaugural Elite event! They say that you never forget your first, and this was certainly the case as yelpers marveled at Salvador Darling’s eclectic décor, nibbled on an assortment of sweet and savoury snacks and glugged Mojito Diablos served from an enormous, ornate glass carafe. Yelpers also fanned themselves with the hottest cooldown accessory this side of the 49th – the official Yelp fan.

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Upon arrival everyone was issued a challenge: to find their “yelpmate” – a match to the art card they were handed along with their nametag. Each original McSweeney’s art card was part of a pair that lurked somewhere within the depths of Salvador Darling, and it was up to yelpers to mix ‘n mingle till they found their match! What followed was a regaling of “first” stories – including trying to remember the topic of their very first review!

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We spotted Cailen S providing musical entertainment at the windowside piano and saw Erin J jazzing up everyone’s outfits with Yelp stickers. Brothers Dean & Xander L showed off their impressive (and yelpified!) “guns” and even engaged in a friendly arm wrestle at the bar top. And as hard as we tried, we couldn’t get Katrina L out of the Kubrick-esque, egg-shaped lucite chair that was suspended from the ceiling. Early in the evening we wondered if anyone would dare to climb in but within an hour there was a lineup to try it out!

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A colossal thank you to Salvador Darling’s Tanya Grossi, hostess extraordinaire, who ensured that the evening ran smoothly and kept our yelpers’ tummies full of yummy sushi and sashimi bites. Also mightily impressive were the skills of bartender PJ, who pumped out glasses of mojitos and popped off beer caps at a feverish pace, all while wearing a signature red Yelp t-shirt -- he even had a nametag! PJ kept it all in the family with the help of his sister Kasey, who buzzed her way through the lounge tidying up and keep

Be sure to peep all of the fabulous photos taken by yelper Jeff Jewiss and don’t forget to add your two cents with a review on everything from chocolate chunk buttercream bars (mmm) to that curious throne with the ten foot tall back...

For more event chatter, head straight to the Talk threads!

July 28, 2009

Philly Yelpers Tied One On at Kung Fu Necktie!

Posted by Monica
Classiness was in full effect last night at Kung Fu Necktie where elite yelpers showed up donning bowties and neckties.

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Our brave bartender Zach F satisfied aplenty, filling up yelp cups with Leinenkugel Amber Ale and Pabst Blue Ribbon whilst concocting cocktails with fruit infused Feckin Irish Whiskey and vodka. Thanks to S&H Kebab House, yelpers loaded up their pita bread with dollops of hummus, cold cucumber yogurt sauce, stuffed grape leaves and a spicy tomato and pepper dip! We even spotted Hilary P soaking up the booze with the fresh offerings!

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It was tough prying yelpers away from the bar, but when break-dancers took the stage, all eyes were on their speedy moves and chiseled abs! When the performance was over, elites bellied back up to their cocktails while others tried their luck at the pinball machine!

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A big thanks to Jim Herman and the rest of the staff at Kung Fu Necktie for making it a fun filled evening! Check out the complete set of sexy-packed photos snapped by Michael F ("Ferry") and read what partygoers had to say here. For all the juicy secrets of the night's happenings, make sure to read the talk thread!

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If we missed you this time, hit up your elite calendar and RSVP for the next event on August 11th! What are you waiting for?!

Til then, SYOY,

Monica S

Bocce Blast in San Rafael

Posted by Jessica T

This Sunday, yelpers like Kelly T, Keane L, and Mandy L, came from all over the Bay area, sporting their most dapper whites and iron-pressed popped collar Polos, to enjoy the radiant San Rafael sun at the North Bay Yelp Elite Event at Marin Bocce Federation. Upon entering through Marin Bocce's huge iron wrought gates, many yelpers took the opportunity to explore the stunning rose garden, basking in the picturesque flowers on the white gazebo. Other yelpers like Eric L made their way over to the food spread, to munch on hot pizza, wild rice chicken salad and fruit from Good Earth, and a dreamy strawberry shortcake cake from Sunset Bakery. In between bites, yelpers reveled in an impressive collection of chilled wines from Bill at Scott Harvey Wines, cold brews from Jennifer and Kevin from Firestone Beer, and refreshing Honest Tea.

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The wonderful Michelle from Marin Bocce Federation explained the rules of bocce to everyone assembled and in a short matter of minutes, the courts were full of Yelp bocce experts, like Donna H lightly bouncing bocce balls, down the long green foliage lined courts. Those who weren't as confident in their bocce skills, like Robyne G sat around and watched on the shaded park benches, while Lionel Richie and the Jackson Five crooned over the loud-speakers. As the day wore on, yelpers began to get more competitive, channeling their inner bocce ball spirit and the courts was full of jeering and cheering. Bocce stars Hugh H and Patricia P, among a handful of other bodacious boccers were even awarded fun prizes for their sharp outfits.

A huge thanks to everyone who came out for such a beautiful day and made it such a bocce blast success!

July 27, 2009

Atlanta Elites Stopped and Smelled the Roses at Rosebud!

It was a night Andie Walsh would have been proud of: the Atlanta Elite Squad got seriously pretty in pink at Rosebud in Virginia Highland: Todd P even bought a new shirt for the party! Chef Eyester and the rest of the crew at Rosebud invited the Squad in to their newly named and revamped restaurant, formerly Food 101. A plethora of pastels, peaches, corals, petunias, magentas, and fuschias could be spied throughout the crowded space

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We were treated to some of the best food that Chef Eyester had up his sleeve. Jeremy A and Valerie A  voted the sliders the best of the bunch while Gretchen O and Kristin B are going back for more shrimp and grits. Zack E satisfied his sweet tooth with the hazelnut "bruschetta" and Ryan D got a healthy pour of locally brewed Terrapin beer. An assortment of Bacardi cocktails refreshed from the July heat and flower arrangements by Petals classed things up a bit. Angela M spent most of the party in Atlanta Photography's photobooth, while a whole horde of other Yelpers worked on their posing skills.

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The party really started when Chef Eyester got up on the bar to address the crowd, commenting "You Yelpers can DRINK!" Yes, Chef, yes. we. can! Check out all of the great reviews here and pictures here!

A great time was had by all!
Kathleen M

July 24, 2009

Boston Elites Set Sail!


Clad in sailor suits, pirate gear and yachting best, Boston Elites climbed aboard The Odyssey and set sail on a three-hour tour on July 20, 2009. Blessed with an evening of beautiful weather, gorgeous people and breathtaking sunset views of our amazing city, yelpers ate, drank and danced the night away, making Yelp history on the first-ever Elite cruise around the Boston Harbor!


After grabbing an official boarding pass and hopping on the boat, yelpers were greeted by the super-friendly Odyssey crew, offering hand-passed hors d'œuvres, Malibu Bay Breezes and Maker's Mark Mojitos--the perfect summer cocktails. MDG 64 was on deck with their light and refreshing brew option, while vino enthusiastics were treated to Still River Winery's sweet samplings of their delicious apple ice wine, a perfect compliment to cheese!


Once all 400 Elites and their guests were on board and accounted for, the Odyssey left the dock and the night REALLY began, with an overflowing buffet of ceasar & garden salad, herb-roasted vegeatables, pasta primavera, lemon-basil chicken, red skin mashed potoates and a black pepper-crusted sirloin carving station. At her first Elite event ever, Lisa O downed three slices of that steak! Once sated with savory dishes, Elites moved over to the flowing chocolate fountain, dipping fresh strawberries and rice crispie treats which, according to Dennis K, was so irresistable he wanted to stick his face in it! Glad you resisted there, Dennis!


After a belly-filling dinner, the dancing, drinking and mingling continued on the Odyssey's four expansive decks, filled with the sounds of DJ John Zucco and the live-music styling of The Mark Greel Band. On the main dance floor, guests got down to some Bel Bid Devoe, merengue and classic tunes, while on the roofdeck, Lady Gaga inspired a few boogie-down circles as we approached the city once again.


Some higlights? The Yelp Boston Official Mascot, Spikey the Pinepple, made his debut appearance to the community and was received with open arms! Thanks again, Christopher M and Marc C, for creating such an awesome symbol of our community. Captain Jack Sparrow made an appearance! And there were newbies galore: Anya F, Kris M, Jenny H, Dennis K, Krys A, Walter G and Mary M attended their first official yelp event, while Sarah G was welcomed from LA at her first Boston Elite event!

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A big thank you to Maker's Mark, Malibu Rum, MGD 64 and Still River Winery for keeping the evening full of adult refreshments, and resounding applause to The Mark Greel Band and DJ John Zucco for their body-moving tunes. For their constant attention, welcoming faces and absolutely flawless service, our gratitude to the staff and crew of The Odyssey, our hosts with the mosts!


An epic adventure for sure, so check out all of the fabulous official photos snapped by Natasha Moustache and Tatsu Ikeda, and be sure to add your own two cents with a review on everything from pineapples to party attire! For insider information, gossip, rumors and recaps, read the talk threads!


Want more? Stay tuned for Yelp Boston's biggest event yet, The Red Carpet Gallery Gala at The Harvard Museum of Natural History! Keep your eyes peeled, RSVP's open soon!


Leighann F

July 22, 2009

Yelp DC is Going South!

Posted by Kevin L

DC yelpers converged upon the Potomac last night, braving the journey from far and wide (and from distant lands where the Metro actually runs) to make it to Chadwicks in Georgetown for our Yelp's Going South summer shindig.

With a second story view of the glittering water, we noshed on Chef Charles' award winning baby back barbecue ribs, cheeseburger sliders, buffalo wings, and cajun chicken egg rolls. Did you try that Thai chili sauce? Hard to tell if Sarah W did, considering the mound of food we saw on her plate! Good thing the delectable delights seemed to be never-ending!

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Meanwhile, our bartender, Tom H, worked up a sweat behind the counter, crafting up Maker's Mark bourbon Kentucky Lemonades and Peach Teas, as well as stirring up trouble with some Sauza tequila yelp-aritas. A little heavy-handedness goes a long way toward building up yelpers' southern charm. Fortunately for everyone, we kept hostess/bouncer Fenny L double-fisting for most of the evening. Who did she manage to bilk, anyway?

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Don't forget to catch the recaps from your fellow yelpers here, and scope out the fab photos snapped by our photographer, Lillian C, over on the Yelp photostream. Scope out Hyunoo P, who showed up as the Asian cowboy - bet you haven't seen that before, huh? These are the times when it's good to be yelpin' south of the Mason-Dixon!

July 21, 2009

Yelp Seattle Keeps It Royale!

Posted by Katie Scharer

Seattle Yelpers from far and wide came out in masses last night for a pre-grand opening party at the new Cupcake Royale on Capitol Hill. Yelp partied it up before the public and the media at our very own Cupcake Happy Hour at their beautiful brand new store!

Over 100 of Seattle's finest (Yelpers) enjoyed eating, frosting, sprinkling, eating, licking, imbibing, and consuming the new and improved (and extremely delicious/ decadent) cakes from Seattle's beloved cupcakery, Cupcake Royale. Now with 66% local ingredients and a cake recipe that's been taste tested (mmm...) over 100 times before rolling out, these tasty cakes are now, in their words: "moistier!"

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With Red Velvent, Orange U Glad, Skagit Valley Strawberry, Salted Caramel... just to name a few, Yelpers took the challenge of consuming as many as humanly possible. Quite possibly the flavor of the night was the Skagit Valley Strawberry: moist, vanilla cake, topped with strawberry frosting made from Skagit Valley Strawberries.

A spread of cheese, bread, fruit and crackers kept us from sugar overload (not really). Beer, cava, and espresso drinks were the perfect accompaniments to what was easily one of the tastiest happy hours to go down in Seattle.

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Yelpers learned the legendary Cupcake Royale swirl from the folks behind the madness, and frosted and sprinkled their own cupcakes at the FYOC/ SYOC (frost your own cupcake/ sprinkle your own cupcake) bar. Each person left very full, with a Cupcake four pack of their choosing, a goodie bag, and a sugar high that rivals the one you might have after partaking in a Top Pot donut eating contest.

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A huge, HUGE Thank you goes out to the hard working party people at Cupcake Royale, Jody Hall, Carolyn, Tamara, Jessie, and all the other fabulous folks who made this event possible! Thanks to Valentina V for snappin' pics. Check out her photos on Flickr, and see what others are saying in the reviews!

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If you're in Seattle, make sure you visit the new location at 1111 East Pike Street on Wednesday, July 22nd when they open to the public. The space is incredible, the stained glass cupcake- amazing, and the cupcakes: divine.

Until Next Time Seattle...


Katie S

July 20, 2009

Phoenix Elite Squad Sizzlin' Hot Happy Hour at Firesky Resort & Spa!

Sparks were flying last Thursday, July 16th at Taggia (the restaurant inside the Firesky Resort & Spa)... They hosted an extremely hot happy hour for the Phoenix Elite Squad. Yelpers enjoyed Taggia's antipasto display and a variety of delicious passed hors d'oeuvres. Featured Maker's Mark cocktails aptly named the Firefly Maker's Mark Mojito, the Red Manhattan, and the Old Fashioned Flame helped to wash everything down.

As if it wasn't hot enough, in addition to the food and drink, Got You Covered provided a magician, a fire dancer, and a fire breather for all to enjoy.

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A huge thanks to Lynn, Rich, Derek, Luciano, Chef James, Janae, and the rest of the staff at Taggia and the Firesky Resort for making it a fun filled evening! And of course we had to capture all the action! Photos from Gary of four white walls photography and Shelly of Ivy Studios documented all of the hotness! 

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Yelp On Fire event... Check out the reviews and talk thread and feel free to chime in if you haven't done so yet!

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Until next time, SYOY!

Gabi K

Seattle's Yelp Elite go to the Theatre!

Posted by Katie Scharer

Seattle's Yelp Elite enjoyed an intimate evening of Theatre at Intiman Theatre last Thursday night, when they were guests at the Theatre for a New Audience's Production of Othello!

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A wine tasting, hosted by Elemental Importers was the perfect way to party before heading into the sold out show. Complimentary nibbles courtesy of Landrin were a huge hit, as were the delicious Argentinian wines. Yelpers mingled in the courtyard before the show, next to the fountain... It was a nice way to enjoy the summer afternoon.

Kimberly F thought that "the Landrin chocolates were heavenly, especially with the wine provided by Elemental Importers." Lisa D  noted that "The reception before the play was great.  The representatives from Elemental Importers were very knowledgeable and I had an enlightening chat with them about the different ways the wines are aged. The wines themselves were fabulous; normally I'm not partial to reds but the Malbec was assertive enough to catch my attention."

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A huge Thank you goes out to the wonderful folks at Intiman Theatre for allowing Seattle's Yelp Elite exclusive access to the performance. Thanks to Ashley and Ryan from Elemental Importers for the delicious pours, and to Landrin for delicious bites.

For more evidence that a good time was had by all, check out the reviews, and our flickr photos.

Until Next Time Seattle...


Katie S

Yelp Elite Event @ Eitel City Apartments

Posted by Sarah Peterson

On Thursday night, around 90 yelpers sported their argyles and tennis whites at the Eitel City Apartments' rooftop Sky Park. Even a chilly and windy evening didn't deter some from a cut throat tournament of ladderball, with Team J Squared taking home the 1st Annual Yelp Lawn Games Champion trophy and a bean bag toss game. Second place Team Pony also was a lucky winner of a bean bag toss game as well!

This gorgeous location hosted 3 wonderful sponsors. Cocoa and Fig offered up a super sweet mini-dessert buffet, including mini key lime pies, chocolate bouchons, and tiramisu shooters. Wisconsin's 45th Parallel Vodka mixed up some tasty cosmos and dared all to try thier new horseradish vodka, which cast quite a bite! Glewwe Castle Brewery was also on hand to quench our thirst with home-brewed root beer and ginger ale.

If you arrived early, you probably scored a couple of the 40 complimentary tickets to Cirque de Soleil's newsest show Kooza. Got to love a prize for punctuality! Those who didn't choose to play in the tournament, still got their game on with pool and fooseball. Many just sat back and relaexed while taking in the amazing view of the Basilica and the downtown skyline.

Thanks to all the sponsors for hosting such a lovely event! And anyone who needs a little extra luck should seach out Lindsay C...this was the 3rd time in a row that she was the lucky raffle winner! Damn, maybe she should play the Powerball!

July 18, 2009

How's Austin Fashion Week? Outrageous!

Not to be deterred by the searing local temperatures, 1,000 Austin yelpers descended on The Mohawk this week to celebrate the first ever Austin Fashion Week with a Yelp StyleXplosion. Along the way there was a live runway show with real yelpers as models, a drag queen hostess with the most-est, airborne hoop dancing, a burleque show, fan dancing, indie karaoke, a retro lounge, DJ Mel, killer photo booth shots from Annie Ray and tons of yelpers looking even hotter than the weather (and definitely haute)!

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July 17, 2009

Elite Event: Yelpers Enjoyed a Taste of Peru in the Pearl!

Posted by Don Bourassa

Ever been to South America? After last night, Portland Elites can check that trip off the list! Well over 100 Yelp Elites and guests gathered in the sub-tropical-style heat for A Taste of Peru in the Pearl. With the humid heat outdoors pushing near 100 degrees, yelpers like Kody L dressed in swanky cool summertime gear and trooped up to the always-sizzlin' Pearl District to enjoy a night of fresh cocktails and bocaditos in the Tupai private dining room at one of Portland's all-around best restaurants, Andina.

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The sexy bartenders had been shaking up drinks for a good 45 minuites and were ready to drop scores of ice-cold refreshing South American cocktails on yelpers like Danielle K and Stanley T right when the doors opened. To the surprise and delight of the Yelp crowd, Andina offered up not just a few select cocktails, but their entire drink menu, which included favorites such as mojitos, pisco sours, margaritas, caipirinhas, daquiries, and piña coladas, along with novoandina drinks such as the Sacsayhumàn, Tortuga, Açai-pirinha, Guanabana, Fuerte de Tamarindo, Mojito de Piña, Atardecer Porteño and Margarita del Sol, all muddled, shaken, or blended to perfection by two of the hardest working bartenders on the planet! And for those who wanted a simple beer or wine, Andina offered up three different Peruvian brews - Cusqueña, Cristal and Xingu - as well as a delicious '07 Alcance Carménère from Maule Valley, Chile and an '08 Montes Sauvignon Blanc from Curicó Valley, Chile.

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As if that weren't enough, the amazing event planners at Tupai brought in master-musician Scott Head, who played an amazing mix of Latin and jazz-style covers on multiple instruments all night long. Using a loop machine, Scott ran drum-lines by pounding on his guitar, played riffs and licks, and belted out trumpet overlays, all to create complex tunes by a one-man band. Ron T and Kristina K were nodding their heads and tapping their feet to acoustic Latin renditions of I Will Survive and other classics, along with some more traditional Peruvian and South American tunes. It was amazng entertainment.

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But oh no, Andina and the Tupai crew did not stop there. The incredibly attentive staff passed around eight different types of bocaditos for the evening, including (as Joshua C aptly noted): Ravioles Crocantes De Aji De Gallina, Salmon Marinado Sobre Galletas De Papa, Ensalada de Pulpo al Aji Panca, Chicharron de Camarones con Kiwicha y Salsa de Moras, Mini Anticuchos de Kobe y Pollo, and Mini Anticuchos de Zucchini y Berengena. No, we're not kidding. It was that good.  And to top it all off, at last call they brought around plates of house-made cookies sandwiched around a delectable caramel center and dusted with powdered sugar. How do you say "yum" in Peruvian??

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All in all, it was one of the most amazing displays Portland Yelp has ever seen. Maddest props in the world go out to Brigitte S and Tatiana M for putting this ENTIRE event together for us. Best event planners ever. A huge thanks to Jels, and Jennifer for taking it the extra mile and offering up everything from Andina in, as one bartender so aptly put it, "abundance." Huge thanks to Mama Doris for hosting us and making Portland's food scene one of the best in the nation. Thanks to the staff of the night, Alyson, Sophie, Doug, Meghan, Jorge, José Luis, Arturo Luis, Antonio, Annie, and Christine! And of course, our night would not have been the same without generous donations by Appleton Jamaica White Rum, Bacardi Gold, Cachaça 51, Don Cesár Pisco Pure, El Tesoro Platiunum Tequila, Monopolowa Vodka, Montes Sauvignon Blanc, and Alcance Carménière. Finally, big thanks again to Scott Head for a night of superb music.

And to the Yelp Elite Squad - you're the heart and soul of Yelp. Portland Elites are the best Elites in the nation. Cheers to you. For more, check out the photos and reviews!

Don B.

Yelp Elite Event @ Eitel City Apartments

Posted by Sarah Peterson

On Thursday night, around 90 yelpers sported their argyles and tennis whites at the Eitel City Apartments' rooftop Sky Park. Even a chilly and windy evening didn't deter some from a cut throat tournament

July 15, 2009

London Elites Get Bluesy & Boozey @ Charlotte Street Blues

Posted by Laura Nestler

How do hot London yelpers cool off?

Why with bourbon, blues, and bona fide living legends, naturally!

Last night, nearly 70 elites and guests donned their war era wardrobes, coiffed their curls, pressed their zoot suits, fetched their fedoras, shined their Mississippi saxophones, and brought the deep South to Central London at newly opened Charlotte Street Blues.

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You could find spiffed up yelpers sipping on a variety of specialty mint juleps, or slippin' behind the bar to mix, mint, muddle and master the art of julep making for themselves: master mixologists Eddy and Francisco held cocktail classes throughout the evening.

As if London's coolest new blues bar, a wall of bourbon, elite-infused juleps, and spicy southern wings weren't enough, living legend Otis Taylor dropped in for not one, but two sets of live blues. (Confirming that the soundtrack really is the best thing about Public Enemies...) Elites were treated to the best seats in the house, overlooking the stage from our private wicker-filled porch!  Trust us, it was wicked.

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A huge thank you to Chris, Eddy and Francisco from Charlotte Street Blues for not only opening a smooth and swoon-worthy venue, but for being the classiest guys on Charlotte Street. (With live blues performances seven nights a week and entire walls of bourbon, you can bet we'll be back, right Chieh T ?) To Four Roses Bourbon for providing plenty of giggle water, and of course, Otis Taylor, his talented daughter Cassie, and the entire band for simply being the cat's meow. 

Want to read more? We don't blame you. Check out the reviews!

Special thanks to Joe Upton for photographing the evening. View all the night's deliciousness HERE.

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Muddling, mixing, mastering, and sweet, sweet music making... hold on to your fedora hats Yelp London, we're only getting started! 

Laura N + the Yelp London crew


A Flaming Hot Night for East Bay Elites

Posted by Ligaya T

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Elites from all around the Bay joined together in Oakland for a special behind-the-scenes peek of the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival! Guests witnessed fire eating, amazing shadow puppetry and delved into the world of pyro sculpture.

At her first ever Elite event, Eliza W enjoyed chowing down on the meaty goodness from the Fast Burrito taco truck, and washed it down with the delightfully hoppy, steam beers from Oakland's Linden Street Brewery. It was really the fresh made, organic chocolate from Edible Love that captured all of Kathy D's attention: "to die for.. soft, chewy and rich dark chocolate cubes." And with flavors like absinthe and amaretto, it's no wonder! Bill B deemed a truffle "one of the most delicious, wonderful things I've ever eaten!" But it was his guest that touted a well-crafted hot cocoa from the mobile cart of Maya Espresso Catering: "definitely one of the top 10 in my life." Hats off to all our wonderful sponsors!

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Of course, the main attraction was flames. Gill C got all fired up about the Flaming Zen Garden which allowed gloved guests to make designs within a dancing sand pit. While Jennifer R was enthralled with the larger-than-life puppets and whimsical costumes of the fire opera.

Check out the official Yelp Flickr shots as captured by Aaron M, and by Ed Jay here! Have we piqued your curiousity? The Fire Arts Festival will be running from the 15th-18th, so head on over to the hottest event of the summer!

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July 13, 2009

Hot Havana Nights with Silicon Valley Elites!

Posted by Connie Chang

The heat was turned way up as Silicon Valley Elites were transported to Havana on Friday, July 10th and showed off some sexy salsa moves in the grand Lobby Lounge of The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Edgardo & Candela provided Latin beats all night long, and for those who were salsa newbies, a fabulous instructor was present to teach them how to do the sexy dance!

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Yelpers enjoyed The Fairmont's bar bites and cooled down with summery and Latin-inspired cocktails from Van Gogh Vodka, Cabana Cachaça and beer from MateVeza.

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A huge thanks to Tyler and the rest of the staff at The Fairmont Lobby Lounge for making it a fun filled evening! And of course we had to capture all the action! Photos from Christina C and Ian L and a sizzling hot video put together by Elite yelper Michael S documented all of the hotness!

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Thanks to everyone who showed us some Yelp love at Hot Havana Nights. . . and until next time, SYOY!

Vancouver Elites Slurp It, Soak It, and Party Bus It Up!

Posted by Crystal H

In the Vancouver heat this past Saturday, Yelp Elite and their guests gathered at Sunset Beach where they were met with morning sunshine shooters before boarding the Cherry Bomb Party Bus (care of Vancouver Party Bus). Inside a stripper pole, more shots and “Carebear,” our most caring bus driver, greeted us as we started our boozy bus tour de downtown in search of Slurpee brain freezes. With tongue colours changing to all sorts of hues and the vodka flowing, yelpers rocked out to Caroline P’s CD of summer tunes on our way to our final destination: Vancouver’s Largest Water Fight. 

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Sugar-rushed, we locked and loaded our water guns, gracing a West End alley with our preparation antics. (Special thanks to the Dairy Queen on Denman who let us use their “Customer Only Bathroom” to fill up some extra water.) War paint, smuggled on board by Sarah O, helped us physically prepare for battle, while Yelp-esque Band-Aids brought by Roanna Z took care of a few “fictitious” wounds.

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Into battle we marched, a united Yelp front armed with our dollar store pistols. Getting sloshy and sloppy didn’t take us too long as water bomb balloons hailed from the sky and buckets of water drenched us from behind.

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Triumphant in being the wettest, we returned to the bus where the pole finally got some good use by Reena M, Jenni O and…is that Brett C ?! To see all of the incriminating photo evidence, visit our Flickr page and read the first hand accounts in the reviews.

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Denver's Iron Yelper

What would you do with figs, fennel, and beef? Or chicken, bell peppers, and a spice you've never heard of? How about shrimp, berries, and rice? Well, if you were Hans O, Lacey M, Scott T, Karen M, Rebecca M, Doug Y, and Mary Jo S you'd cook up delicious plates for the rest of your fellow yelpers to taste at Denver Yelp's latest Elite Event - The Iron Yelper at Cook Street School of Fine Cooking!

On Friday night Denver elites flooded Cook Street for beer, wine, the tastiest antipasto trays we've seen, and a friendly challenge between 3 teams. While Hans O and Lacey M walked away the champions with their chicken paella and skewers in peanut sauce it was a close race to the win. Rebecca M, Mary Jo S, and Doug Y received plenty of votes thanks to their Asian inspired shrimp dish - word at the school was they made the best cauliflower around and yelpers couldn't have agreed more. And the team of Scott T and Karen M rounded out the tastings with the best use of difficult ingredients, making a mouth watering flank steak sided by blue cheese and figs. Yum!

At the end of the tasting several of our lucky yelpers walked away with tickets to see The Dinner Detective or gift certificate to return to Cook Street for their own lessons in the kitchen. Of course, it isn't a party unless there is evidence so check out the photos taken by Carl Johnson of Mountain Hi Photography here. And don't forget to read what everyone is saying about the night here.

Until next time, SYOY!

Tiffany C
Denver Yelp Community Manager

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Michael Mina Yelps!

How many people do you know who have a restaurant named after them? In celebration of the 5th anniversary of Michael Mina and the 1st anniversary of Clock Bar, Yelp's own Stephanie P and Nish N had the chance to sit down with the man himself and ask him about where he eats out, his love of seafood and of course, Yelp.

Nish: Any Bay Area chefs you're keeping an eye on?

Michael: Daniel Patterson (of Coi fame), is definitely a guy to watch and has a new project, Il Cane Rosso, that just opened. Ron Siegel does wonders at the Ritz; I appreciate his approach and execution (Mina hired him as a line cook way back when he was helping to launch Aqua!).

Stephanie: Where do you like to dine in the city?

Michael: Fleur de Lys is that magical special occasion place for my wife and I, while Zuni always reminds me just how good we have it in San Francisco. Otherwise, it really depends on my mood, but anything from Delfina and Quince to A16. We go to R&G Lounge as well, where the geoduck sashimi and crab have become a bit of a ritual for us.

Stephanie: If you had to pick one of your properties to dine at, which one would it be?

Michael: Definitely Michael Mina. I enjoy the room, the food, and the service. The location in the St. Francis was the space I had always wanted  –  you can really be a part of history there. Our new lounge menu makes it more accessible if you're not in for the full-on experience.

Nish: You're a big fish fan, are there any other seafood restaurants you love?

Michael: I particularly like the way the Japanese work with fish. Hana is one of my favorites.The chef, Ken Tominaga, just knows his fish and turns me on to product all the time – I keep telling him, 'You've gotta come to the city!'

Nish: We're trying to become regulars at your Clock Bar, what's your go-to cocktail there? *Editor's note: Nish has become a fan of the humuhumunukuapua'a.

Michael: The Chartreuse Swizzle. The service and drinks aim to make it a real barmen's bar, and I want this place to be around for hopefully 20-30 years.

Stephanie: What's your take on this little thing called Yelp?

Michael: Actually with RN74, we quickly reacted to patterns we saw in reviews about portion size in the first week. It's fantastic to see how much interest there is in food and restaurants out there, and I'm the kind of person that will sit at the computer and read all the yelps. We're in the business, after all, of giving people what they want.

July 10, 2009

Yelp OC got Baconated!

Posted by Hazel Q

Ever had a bacon hangover? This morning yelpers throughout the Southland are experiencing one first hand after a Thursday night of bacon-lovin' fun at Yelp OC's Sizzlin' Bacon Bash! Not only was it a smorgasbord of Orange County's best baconated restaurants, it was also a special preview night of the OC Fair, with one very special guest...the one, the only, Weird Al Yankovic! And, in the famous words of Weird Al, himself, yelpers did Eat It!

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While some yelpers were getting down on the gooey, tasty, bacony, bacon mac n' cheese from Beachwood BBQ, others made a beeline for the bar to be amongst the first select few in the state to lay their taste buds upon the pure happiness that is Bakon Vodka (in the Bakon-Chocolate martini, no less)! For those stickin' to tradition, Maker's Mark poured up some of the best Maker's Mary drinks around...with Bacon Salt rimmed glasses, of course. While Hi-Time Wine Cellar served up some expertly paired wines to go with the bacon overload and Mr Kegs made sure the beer lovers weren't left out either with their endless supply of Pyramid brews!

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Yelpers aren't ones to stick to tradition alone though, good thing there was plenty available for the adventurous eaters as well...chocolate-dipped bacon, anyone? Not just that, Chicken Charlie's deep fryer was churning out zucchini weenies and deep-fried Oreos faster than you could say heartattack. Bacon candy and M'oink balls were in full effect from BigMista's BBQ, and Mother's Market made sure that even the vegetarians were taken care of at this event with their vegan, tempeh Fakin' Bacon.  A big hit of the night was the 50/50 burger from Slater's 50/50. What's the 50/50 stand for, you ask? Well, that's 50% beef and 50%....wait for it....wait for it....bacon!

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And of course, as they say, pics or it didn't happen. Well, it did and was well documented by the supremely talented Antonio from Lovin' Life Photography and the coolest guy around, Jay from Red Cheese Photo Booth! Yelpers who survived the night are already talking about the now legendary evening filled with bacon, Weird Al, funnel cake eating contests (check the link for videos!), and more bacon. Check out the reviews of the Bacon Bash on Yelp and all of the pics on Flickr!

Until next time... peace, love and bacon grease!

Hazel Q

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