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December 28, 2009

Yelp Miami's Turning Japanese

Posted by Maria Arguello

Miami Elites brought their review writing and rating skills to Sushi Maki in Coral Gables for a night of sampling sushi, sake, and sizzling new savory and sweet delights

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When the team behind locally loved chain Sushi Maki sat down to dream up the latest additions to their menus they needed some feedback and Yelp Miami's Elites were there to help them decide on the greatest hits. The night included tiraditos such as yellowtail with citrus soy and jalapeno, tuna with roasted pineapple, shiso, and red serrano, and salmon with aji amarillo, lime, cucumber and tomato. Also introduced that night were sushi tacos including spicy tuna with spicy mayo, tobiko and lemon zest, yellowtail jalapeno with ginger, soy and radish, and salmon miso with chili garlic and sour cream. The next course brought a variety of small dishes such as kobe beef sliders and black cod with miso and to close an assortment of rolls needing names. Guests washed down all the filling goods with Sapporo and saketinis.

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Yelpers were able to meet the chefs and staff from the restaurant. They provided feedback and as enjoyed mingling with other yelpers and fulfilling those famous food critic dreams. Michelle C summed it up: "I was an Iron Chef Judge for 2 hours."

To read what the rest of the guests had to say read the reviews here or scope all the mouthwatering pictures by visiting our Flickr album.

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Thanks again to Sushi Maki and to Paula E for being our Elite photog!

Can't wait to see what dishes make the cut in 2010

Cheers!

Maria A

Yelp Miami Community Manager

December 25, 2009

Silicon Valley's Ugly Sweater Holiday Bash!

Posted by Connie Chang

Silicon Valley Elites got together for one last time in 2009 for some serious merry-making at B412 in Downtown Palo Alto on Tuesday night. Elites and their guests came donning their most ho-ho-horribly hideous holiday sweaters and spread the holiday cheer!

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Guests enjoyed lively libations from Stunna, and several yelpers even sported stunna shades with their sweater to celebrate in style. While mingling and jingling, guests also noshed on tasty appetizers including hot wings, chicken strips, quesadillas, pot stickers, spanakopita and chips.

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With so many incredibly ugly sweaters in the house, a walk-off was in order. Chris T's scary Santa sweater topped them all, but Matt H and Chanmao S's homemade designs came in close second and third. They surely smacked some ugly on those sweaters!

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At the end of the night, karaoke was on hand for those who wanted to sing loud for all to hear. Archie G got on up and reprised his amazing James Brown performance of Sex Machine, and Jeremy G was certainly too sexy for his ugly sweater.

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If you weren't able to make it out, or simply want to relive the event, check out the reviews about the unforgettable night, and peep the photos taken by Betty N and Michael from Zat Photo on Flickr.

Happy Holidays to all, and see you in 2010!

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December 23, 2009

Kasa After Dark (A.K.A. Yelp's FUNemployment celebration)

With a second Kasa Indian Eatery opening up in the Marina smack dab in the middle of Hanukkah, and just days before Christmas, it served as a perfect opportunity to break in the newest location before opening to the public last Thursday night. It was a late night affair (10:00-midnight), but it was no problemo the night owls of the San Francisco Yelp Elite squad.

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With free-flowing kati rolls and complimentary beer and wine out the wazoo, it was a great start to an early weekend (Thursday is the new Friday, after all).

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Thanks to the staff at the new Kasa Indian Eatery on the corner of Fillmore and Filbert street for hosting the event! Make sure to check 'em out soon! For reviews of the event, click here. For pictures, click here! Happy holidays, and SYOY in 2010!

December 21, 2009

Denver Yelpers Spice it up with Salsa y Salsas at La Rumba

Posted by Laura Levaas

Forget about the Tango, Denver Yelpers “Salsa y Salsa”ed their way through the night at La Rumba Saturday evening. A hundred elites and their guests spent the evening sampling tequilas from El Jimador, Herradura, Cazadores and Corzo Modern Tequila, and washing down small bites from Mezcal and Tambien with Del Norte Brewing's Orale and Manana beers. BOA Energy Drink offered a tasty (and rejuvenating) alternative for those who didn't want to indulge in an adult bev!

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Yelpers taste-tested salsas from all over town, with front runners Carlos Miguel's, 4Gs Cafe, Las Delicias, and Illegal Pete's rounding up the most votes. Which teams reigned supreme in the guac-off? Team Hot Tamales (Matt P and Erin M) took in Best Guac, Team Island Hoppers (Sherri S and Jay B) trounced the Best Theme category, and Buddha's Little Helpers (Yvonne C and Genevieve B) were voted Most Original. Congrats, all!

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Clay Carlton of Palma Cigars demonstrated the fine art of cigar rolling all evening, with Yelpers taking home their own personal Yelp cigars. And finally, the night was rounded out with a lively performance by Senora and Jig from DanzArtz Studios, complete with a group salsa lesson that got everybody out on the dance floor. Special thanks to Photography by Demetrius for taking great snaps throughout the night.

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Yelpers couldn’t have ended the year any better - as David T puts it “just give me a bottle of the Heradura Anejo and a straw and I'll be a happy guy.  Loved watching so many people get their salsa vibe on on the dance floor.”

SYOY!

Laura L
Denver Yelp Community Manager

Honolulu Yelp Elites Kick It With Rappin' Santa @ Fresh Cafe

Posted by Emi H

Honolulu yelpers celebrated the ho-ho-holidays with their very first Yelp Elite event at hipster hangout Fresh Cafe! Yelpers made the night cheery by gulping down Grandma's "Bacardi spiked" punch and Nog-A-Sake (Egg nog with Ty-ku sake). Party sponsor Fresh Cafe served delish pesto pasta, a tasty chicken salad, seasoned edamame, delicious holiday cookies and chocolate covered pretzels. After eating and drinking so much does your belly shake like a bowl full of jelly too?

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"Naughy & Nice" was the theme of the evening but it seemed as though everyone was on the "Naughty" list as they took photos with Santa. 

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Party goers made their Christmas extra yelpy by decorating ornaments and filling their Yelp totes with goodies from our Yelp Shwag station! Yelpstick anyone? Rappin' Santa, aka Doc Rock, treated yelpers to a freestyle yelpified rap that left everyone bobbing their heads, swinging their hands in the air and yelling "Y-E-L-P"! 

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Special thanks to: Tiffany T from Fresh Cafe for sponsoring our event; Doc R for wearing a really hot Santa Suit & Kris S for being his photo taking Elf; Ruggy J from Yelp SF; Mike S for keeping the punch bowl full of liquor; & Diane C for clicking away on her camera! 

Mahalo to everyone who came out and helped to make our first Yelp Honolulu Elite party an uber yelpy time! Be sure to check out the Yelp party reviews and the Yelp Flickr page for Santa & event pics! 

Looking forward to more parties & more yelpy schenanigans in 2010!

SYOY,

Emi H

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December 20, 2009

Yelp Houston's (Tacky) Holiday Soiree

Posted by Farrah Akhtar

Inside a snowflake, like the one on your sleeve,
there happened a story you must see to believe...

All the Who-ston Elites dressed in holiday cheer
to celebrate the season and end of a great year;

On to Big Star Bar! a local dive, they all went
to enjoy s'mores over the fire pit – a time well spent;

Tacky sweaters! A photo booth! Bites from BB's Cajun Cafe!
Savvy Vokda! And Lone Star! The best, we must say;

Til next year, good friends! O nine was quite merry,
Bring it on, Yelp Houston. See you in January!

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Merry Eid Al Christmakwanzakah,

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Farrah A (and OG yelper, Texas)
Houston Community Manager

December 17, 2009

Yelp Elites Drink The Vote At The Yelp LA Holiday Cocktail Competition!

Posted by Christina Y

Yelp elites from all over Los Angeles made their voices heard by voting in the Yelp holiday elite event at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. First things first - the winner of the Yelp Holiday Cocktail Competition! Yelp ballots in hand, the elites and their guests tasted signature winter cocktails from local bars and restaurants including: 

Jones serving their "My Kind of Christmas" cocktail

Simmzy's serving their "Merry Mechalada"

Zinc Lounge at Shade Hotel serving their "Yuletide Martini"

Rock 'N Fish serving their "Don't Be A Grinch Grog"

Manhattan Beach BrewCo serving their "Holiday Cheer Beer"

Mucho Ultima Mexicana serving their "Mucho Haute Chocolate"

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And now for the results. It was a very close race between the cocktails from Jones and Rock 'N Fish, but the Don't Be A Grinch Grog won by just a few votes! Huge congratulations to Rock 'N Fish for winning this very tight competition!

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When they weren't doing their civic duty, Yelpers were sipping wine from 55 Degree Wine and noshing on pulled pork paninis from Simmzy's, a taco bar from Qdoba Mexican Grill, appetizers from Zinc Lounge and gorgeous cucpakes from Cupcakes Couture of Manhattan Beach.

Staying true to the holiday spirit, they also decorated Christmas ornaments and dreidels and stuffed their Yelp stockings chock full of fun Yelp schwag. They gave back as much as they got by contributing toys to Toys For Tots. They also grooved to tunes from DJ Dennis Owens and had some naughty times at the Bad Santa photobooth by Project Photobooth.

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As the night wound down, Yelpers were in for the biggest surprise of all—the announcement of the new LA East and LA West community managers! To help celebrate the occasion, Ragdolls Burlesque performed some sassy holiday themed routines to get everyone's pulses going. 

In addition to bellies full of food and drink and stockings full of treats, a few lucky Yelpers went home with exciting gifts from the raffle featuring gift certificates to K Chocolatier by Diane Krön, The Edendale Grill and the Egyptian Theatre.

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Thanks to everyone who helped make the Yelp Holiday party so much fun. You can check out the reviews here, and don't forget to check out the pictures on the Yelp flickr page and Project Photobooth for those Bad Santa pictures you took. 

And happy holidays to everyone until our next exciting event!

Katie B and Christina Y

Sacramento Gears Up for a Year of Parties

Posted by Olivia L

Sacramento yelpers didn't miss a beat getting into the "spirit" of the season at their "Season of Change" inaugural elite event last night at Tre Restaraunt and Nightclub. We've got a damn good looking bunch who know how to down their booze, yelp and mingle like it's nothin'!

Oh, and they are fearless, too. Like David O, who always graces us yelpers with his smooth as yelpstick performance skills and willingness to get the party started while DJs P.M.E. crooned lounge-y Christmas ballads in between sets. 

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Louie L loved the people watching and Christina H loved the pork sliders—and said the sazerac cocktail (made with absinthe) had enough kick to make other folks suddenly recognizable, well sort of. "You know you've reached nirvana when you're in a room full of people who 'get' you," croons Stacey H. Aww, you complete us, Stacey. :)

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Elites were greeted with hugs, little stockings stuffed with yelpy goodness and raffle tickets for a bottle of Obsello Absinthe, voted one of the best by the New York Times and one of our booze sponsors (in addition to Tre) for the evening. Congrats to Elif (who says this is the first time she has ever won anything!) and Beth N (an elite very near and dear to our hearts) for taking home the green fairy!

A huge shout out and thank you to Tre, who served up some amazing nosh for hungry guests including delicious pork sliders with jicama, cabbage and slaw; along with pecan raisin toast with fromme daumberge persimmon jam, and those were just two of the small bites served! Devine. Of course, people also cozied up to the bartender for another Winter Burst martini, made with blackberry juice and vodka, shaken not stirred. Please sir, may I have another? Yes, yes you may.

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Big thanks to our newbie yelper, Stephanie L, who captured the evening on digital! Smile! ... 'cause we've only just begun!




 


Austin Yelpers Rock 3rd Annual Open Mic Night!

If it's December in Austin, it must be time for another installment of Yelp Austin Open Mic Night! This week saw the third annual yelpy spoken word event happen at the Ghost Room, and between unforgettable stories and a special appearance by local recording artist David Garza (and a killer photobooth by Mark C!), we added a yelpy accent to the holidays! As always, the room was filled with the sound of memorable tales only yelpers could tell!

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DC Elites Get Nice and Naughty: Yuletide Yelping @ M Bar

Posted by Tara Lewis

Tis the season to be yelping
Fa-la-la-la-la la-la la la!

When the DC Elite Squad kicked off holiday party season with Yuletide Yelping at M Bar, they had no idea what they were in store for. Although the invitation encouraged them to nibble on delicious hors d'oeuvres like a reindeer on a carrot, they had no idea that they would be nibbling with a reindeer. Some of the guests inquired whether it was a cruel, Community Manager hazing ritual and were a bit baffled when they realized this was a voluntary decision and even had a few people reconsider the furry phenomenon. Rudolph's nose was not shining or glowing, until Tracey C put her rewiring skills to work. Nice. Rudolph was also renamed, Vixen. Naughty.

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And you know what happens when a reindeer crashes a party, right? They always want to play a few reindeer games. That's why the DC mob put their pens to work and anonymously submitted their most naughty and nice moments of 2009 at the event. And without further a do, here are the results. (Drum-roll please!)

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Top 3 Naughty and Nice Moments - Yelp DC 2009:

Naughty (tisk, tisk)

1) I crashed the state dinner so that I could yelp the Oval Office.

2) I keep buying expensive beers and only drink part of them. Then I leave the half-drunk beers on my night-stands for my girlfriend to have to take down to the kitchen.

3) I stole truffle oil from roommate for my take out. Also, used Nutella to improve all sexual situations.

Nice (pat on the back)

1) Monty C's tender yet masculine kiss on the cheek of Kevin L at the 2009 Election night party. It was beautiful.

2) For Christmas, instead of gifts me and my sister went and bought a ton of cat food, cat litter, bleach and papers towels to donate to a cat rescue shelter.

3) I brought a new yelper to this event.

M Bar is definitely on Santa's "nice" list this year for hosting us on Tuesday night and filling our tummies with amazing shrimp and grits, flat bread pizza, bacon cheeseburger sliders, ponzu marinated tuna tartare with fried wonton chips and cilantro guacamole and plenty o' cheese! The super fabulous M Bar chef and staff were incredibly gracious and we were oh so happy to feel so welcomed in their space.

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A big, jolly, thank you once again to our alcohol sponsors, Red Stag by Jim Beam for providing us with delicious seasonal drinks (oh yea, the eggnog was spiked) and Bacardi Rum for providing us with marvelous, mango mint mojitos!

If you were unable to attend the event, we wish you had been there to enjoy the company, cocktails and reindeer games. Be sure to check out the rest of the photos from the event from our very own Elite, photography extraordinaire, Alicia G.

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Until next time, be good for goodness sake!

Yelpy Holidays and SYOY!

Tara L
DC Community Manager

December 14, 2009

Yelp Chicago and Chicagoland Elites Escape the Ho-Hum at the Urban Winterscape!

Posted by Johnny Todd

Over 500 of Chicago and Chicagoland’s fiercest yelpers donned their chicest urban apparel and created THE place to be in Chicago’s artsy River North neighborhood. The Urban Winterscape Elite party took place at the 233 W Huron Art Gallery where food was plentiful, drinks flowed like water, gifts were given and Elite yelpers got a serious groove on.

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As the Elites walked into an urban winter wonderland, they were flanked on all sides by fabulous possibilities. To their left, they snacked on creative food from Blue 13 and Tapas Valencia. Down the middle they found hearty fare from The Grocery Bistro, Pasha, Sushi Taiyo and Swirlz Cupcakes. The right-hand side brought it home with tasty treats from 33 Club, LOKal, Ian’s Pizza, Il Giardino del Dolce, and Italiasia.  All that great food deserves beverages of the same caliber to wash it down. Good news for the Elites, Dragon Bleu Vodka, Maker’s Mark, Harlem, Crispin Hard Ciders, Goose Island, Sierra Nevada c/o Chicago Beverage Systems, and Saké2me provided taste sensations to delight yelpers of every palate. Manning every station with aplomb was the top-notch staff of D'Absolute Catering.

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Bellies full and drink in hand, what’s an urban Elite to do? Get her hair did and get his picture taken, that’s what! The hair and make-up genius of Kelly Cardenas Salon and Strange Beauty Show got yelpers ready for their close-ups and Matt Ginger, Shutterbooth, Actionbooth, and Irene Kijak took the shots. You can see them here, here, here, and here.

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All the while, Elites vibed to the rockin’ tunes of Cage and Aquarium Productions, got spellbound by the magic of Sean Masterson and gave back by donating well over 100 toys to Chicago’s Angel Tree. This holiday party had it goin’ on! See what the yelpers had to say here.

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Thanks to all in Chicago/Chicagoland Yelpdom for a fantastic 2009. 2010 is going to be even better. Watch this space. SYOY!

Johnny T and Jelena Z

December 12, 2009

Yelp Elites Say Cheers to Beers in Seattle!

Posted by Katy

Seattle's yelpers got their tummies packed with yummy while attending a beer and cheese themed bonanza at Two Beers Brewing in SODO. Samples of such savory brews like their award winning Espresso Stout, the 20:20 Blonde Ale, and the Echo IPA were there for folks to enjoy. Beecher's piping hot famous mac n' cheese was also on hand to help feed the masses. 

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In keeping with the beer and cheese theme, yelpers participated in a bake-off and brought homemade goodies to share! Prizes for the best baked goods featuring either beer or cheese were awarded by our amazing judges Joel and Josh from Two Beers and Whitney and Jamie from Beecher's.

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As the event came to an end no one left empty handed. Facing the cold Seattle weather, each yelper was given a cozy Yelp hoodie and a handy lunchbox! For more photos of the cheesy, brewy madness you can check out all of the official pics here on the Yelp Flickr page.

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Miss out on the action? Check out the reviews of the party to see what yelpers had to say about it!

That about wraps it up for 2009. See you next year!

Katy H
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December 11, 2009

Yelp Elites in Orange County Show Up Fashionably Lei'd!

Posted by Hazel Q

Aloooha! Yelpers got tropical with a Hawaiian-themed Holiday shindig at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach. Everyone strutted into the historic tiki building in Huntington Beach donning all of latest Hawaiian shirt styles. After a quickie- uh... quickly getting lei'd, that is, it was a beeline to the bar to partake in Don the Beachomber's signature (and top secret!) Mai Tais made with Cruzan Rum. Tasty brews were provided by Hawaii's own Primo Beer for the beer lovers in the crowd.

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DJ Dan kept the tunes going all night (and kept good company too with Joe E) to get yelpers in the hula mood. As a very...ahem...modern Mister and Ms Santa gave presents out to nice little yelpers. Mimi Y also snagged herself a present for being the best dressed with her beachcomber hat and rockin' Hawaiian shirt.

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The star of the night was the Polite in Public photobooth, as they got everyone decked out with hilarious props and documented it all...want proof? A link to all of the photobooth pics is right here. Of course, our resident Yelperazzi made sure no hula-ing or drinking went unphotographed. Meanwhile Paolo from Don Le Photography captured all of the action outside of the photobooth all night. You can check out all of the official pics here on the Yelp Flickr page.

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Missed out on the action? Check out the reviews of the party to see what yelpers had to say about it!

See ya next year!

Bringing Hula to OC Since...Last Night,

Hazel Q

December 10, 2009

Dallas Elites Don Their Ugliest Holiday Sweaters

Posted by Nikki B

...For the Yelp Dallas Ugly Holiday Bash! Over 110 Elites and their guests gathered under the cozy covered patio at Bolsa, in the heart of the Bishop Arts District. Many smiles, laughs and a couple of spills were shared while a heater as large as the Sun kept everyone nice and snug!

Bolsa, named D Magazine's best restaurant of 2009, put out the best of their menu to showcase their fabulous bruschetta and flatbreads. Flavors ranged from smoked salmon to Texas tomatoes with goat cheese to locally-made sausage, and yelpers gobbled it up as fast as Santa devours cookies and milk. Guests washed it all down with Bolsa's specialty holiday drink -- mulled wine. Harpoon Brewery kept all the beer-lovers happy with their IPA brew, and no glass across the room went empty.


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Yelpers showed their holiday spirit by boasting their most ridiculous holiday sweaters. Across the crowd you could see a light-up and musical sweaters, horribly homemade sweaters and plenty from the back of the closet.

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Those who brought gifts for the White Elephant gift exchange all had a chance to pick from the pile and open their tacky presents. After all, who doesn't want a Low Riders two-disc set, a Chia pet or pinecone candles?  And Dallas yelpers don't just get, they give too! Elites and guests alike brought bag after bag of canned food items to donate to the North Texas Food Bank. After all was said and done, over 250 pounds of donated food was collected and will be distributed to local families in need during the holiday season!

Click here for all of the naughty and nice photos captured during this merry event, and read what the attendees had to say here...ho, ho, ho!

Merry holidays to all and to all a goodnight,

Nikki B


Flavorpill Mashes Up Yelp

I used to be a writer for Flavorpill back in the day and remain a big fan, so I wasApi1 thrilled and intrigued by this hyperlocal mash-up contest they have going on (and that I'm one of the judges for!). It's about showcasing your neighborhood, using anything from Google Maps to Twitter, and of  course Yelp, and bringing it together with FP's own event feed. We're always excited to see how people utilize our API, so if you have some ideas of your own, it's time to get busy! 

Santa's Little Yelpers @ The Old School Yard

Posted by Lizzie G

Ho ho ho and a Jägerbomb to go! Tuesday night saw the London Elite Squad descend on The Old School Yard for some serious merrymaking for the last event of the year, Santa's Little Yelpers. It was a world of tinsel, mince pies and terrible Christmas jumpers.

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_DSC3528-2 Yelpers were spoilt with The Old School Yard's famous Cosmopolitans at entry and then followed that with a master class in cocktail making from Darren and his mind blowing staff. Set in a school playground, there was a serious amount of table football, retro Nintendo games and dancing to 90s boy bands. The night was complete when Chris R and Thomas A won prizes for the ugliest and most festive jumpers. (Although I heard a rumour that if there was a runner up prize it would be handed out to Eric J!)

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During the night we were wowed by a giant Jägerbomb chain along the bar courtesy of the lovely people at Red Bull which probably explains a lot of the dancing at the end of the night! Check out the sordid night of drinking, dancing and enjoyment and take a sneaky peak at the photos (thanks to Kristian Leven), read some of the reviews and share your stories on talk.

Until next year London yelpers...

SYOY

Lizzie G and The London Crew

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December 09, 2009

Yelp Gets Ugly (and Jolly) for the Holidays!

Posted by Monica

Last night at Jolly's Dueling Piano Bar, 160 yelpers turned back the clocks to 1983 and decked the halls with ugly holiday sweaters. As the men on keys played the songs of yesteryear, Yelp elites and their guests belted their hearts out to everything from "Don't Stop Believing" to "Bohemian Rhapsody!" There's no better way to say "toodles!" to 2009 than with an Ugly Holiday Sweater Party!

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Despite the massive crowd, Jolly's bartenders and staff dished out sliders and flatbreads for guests to enjoy, all whilst concocting cocktails like the Hounddog Sweet Tea and lemonade cure-all, the Holiday Blues buster featuring Pearl Blueberry vodka, and the Holiday Plum Fairy with Pearl Plum vodka.

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Check out the reviews, photos (by our own beloved, Ferry), and talk from the soirée, and feel free to chime in if you haven't done so already...

Cheers!

Until 2010, SYOY!

Monica S

Jolly46 (on the right)



 



December 08, 2009

Yelp Unwrapped! Holiday Party @ Westin St. Francis

Last night marked the 5th annual holiday party, Yelp Unwrapped! at the Westin St. Francis, and over 2,500 yelpers braved the cold, wintery conditions to make this the largest event in Yelp San Francisco history.

Big ups to the restaurants that provided tasty nosh for Yelp Elites and non-Elites alike. Those eateries included Ike's Place, RNM, Oola, Local, Poesia, SF Soup Company, Mezes, Espetus Churrascaria, 2223, TCHO, Cups and Cakes, Urban Tavern, Pacific Catch, Triptych, Moussy's, Urban Picnic, Emporio Rulli, Cakemaker, Gelataria Naia and Underdogs.

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For those of you looking for a chance to unwind and warm up, all you had to do was walk past the clittering and clattering Tap Dancing Christmas Trees - to the Borgia room, which was doling out pampering in full force, with Scott Harvey Wines, Samovar tea sampling, The Paul Mitchell Academy's updos, Psoas' relaxing massages, and readings by Crystal the Psychic.

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Other attendees made their way over to the Timbuk2's sewing station, eager for their hand-made Timbuk 2 waist bags, all - while nursing a cold Firestone Beer, and learning more about the wonderful charity One Brick. The Workshop was also hand with fun DIY displays - including everything from live silk screened Yelp T-shirts to hand constructed beer koozies, many of which were captured in the Laugh Box's engaging photobooth, immortalizing endless memories throughout the night, while Pandora spun a slew of head rockin' beats.

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The Bay area is continually producing unique and cutting edge art - and both the Pacific Art Collective and ArtNowSF captured the essence of San Francisco's urban art scene. The Pacific Art Collective's live painted mural, resounding Taiko Drummers rocked the party with exciting vigor - while ArtNowSF's Ian Ross's collaborative live community art piece and an artist painting within a plexi-glass box allowed yelpers to literally become part of the art!

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Judging by the bumping dance floor at the end of the night, many of you had a chance to groove to DJ Lighting, all while the Hubba Hubba Revue seduced the crowd with their flirty performance complete with a gorilla (yes, we said gorilla) and the Renegade Rockers dance troupe dazzled with their energetic popping and locking. In between toasting specialty SKYY cocktails mixed with Dry Soda, Pom, and Honest Tea (which were in abundance throughout the whole night), yelpers also lounged on Rebars's Bushwaffles in eager anticipation of the star of the evening, Blackie the Mini Pony! Like a true farm-dwelling diva - Blackie cruised in later in the night to greet his adoring fans and pose with Santa (aka - Don B) - in the fabulous Richard T photobooth. And of course a huge thank you to the Westin St Francis and all of their staff for hosting last night's big event and continuing to don big smiles throughout it.

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For pictures with Santa, be sure to check back here soon! For roaming photos from the lovely Ligaya T, click here!

Yelp Atlanta Celebrates the Season with Sushi with Santa!

4168408472_4356ae32a9_o4168408888_d185b8d88c_oMince pies and eggnog are great and all, but what the Atlanta Elite Squad really wanted was SUSHI. And they got just that at STEEL Restaurant and Lounge in Midtown. Nearly 125 Elite Yelpers and their guests came out for one last fling for 2009. Attendees were some of the first in Atlanta to get their hands on Haamonii, a premium shochu, and let's just say it was well received!

4167640733_cb09175ddb_o4167648383_965762b33e_oDress code was "festive" and Yelpers took it to heart. Zack  E was bedecked in the ugliest Christmas sweater of all time while Katie W brought along a Midtown-appropriate Georgia Tech santa hat. Yelpers exchanged gifts with one another and Erin D's brother may have been the winner, if we had to choose: "Whoever 4167644509_9146d676bd_obought the gift my brother picked (a Santa hat that said "Squeel" and a pig hand  puppet) should know that I have never seen him laugh 4168405470_f8d2fe4c53_oso hard. He wore the hat the whole ride home! Thank you!" Other gifts included The  Parent Trap (Lindsey Lohan style), a 6-pack beer sampler, and three pairs of chopsticks 4167642169_07fe855ac5_oalong with a set of fake eye lashes. Not sure how those go together, but we'll roll with it! 

Speaking of rolls, Emily K's already plotting 4167641343_73cf2bb784_oher return to STEEL for their spring rolls, and and Jason R found the strawberry-wrapped sushi to be "shockingly good." Jeremy A's experience is  gonna stick with him, as the "mango and crab spring rolls will haunt his4168407248_0cb97211c5_o dreams." Uhm, hopefully that's a good thing!

No holiday party would be complete 4168410136_5c9ecb94dc_owithout Santa: who knew the big man  looks a whole lot like Yelp's very own Kevin L?! How bizarre! He and his lap were available for shots in the fantastic photo booth provided by Atlanta 4168405514_8f4ac891d8_oPhotography. You can see all of their great pics here!
 

If you'd like to hear more (and I know you do), all of the reviews are posted here and you can find the talk thread reliving all of the shenanigans here.

Thanks to all of Atlanta Yelp for a fantastic 2009 and I'll see y'all in 2010! Happy Holidays!
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                        Kathleen M

Brooklyn Yelp Gets Down At Nita Nita Margarita!

Posted by peter d.

Last night the NYC Yelp Elite Squad got their margarita on at Nita Nita Texas Margarita!

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The tapas were tasty, thanks to Nita Nita's talented chef, and I know I'll be back to take a big bite of the rest of their Monday Mexican menu and more!

Those Jose Cuervo Girls kept the party going with the Texas Margaritas (not to mention the shots), and you can't go wrong with Brooklyn's own brewery, Kelso!

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Make sure you check out the reviews, see what people are saying, and don't forget about the pictures! That's it for us this year, and we'll see you in '10!

SYOY,
Peter D.
 

December 07, 2009

'Twas A Joyous Holiday Wine Tasting Soirée For Phoenix Yelpers

What’s better than an afternoon filled with food, fun, friends and holiday cheer? Not much, especially if you have your own Yelp wine glass filled with free-flowing vino!  Saturday, December 5th was the finale OYE of 2009 for Phoenix yelpers, and needless to say, it was "a wonderful yelpy time."

AZ Wine was a fitting venue for the event... Huge kudos to Aaron, Anthony, and Cheyenne of Symposium Brands for educating and pouring generous tastes of the following wines:

*Pazo Blanco, Ribeiro, Spain
*MacRostie, Chardonnay, Carneros, CA
*Fess Parker, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, CA
*Araco, Crianza, Rioja, Spain
*Montes de Segura, Crianza, Rioja, Spain
*Loli Casado, POLUS, Tempranillo, Rioja, Spain

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As if that wasn't enough, Harold's provided an incredible buffet of food.  Yelpers noshed on spinach artichoke dip with rosemary flatbread, NY Strip Skewers, coconut and Italian seasoned chicken tenders, and margarita pizza.  Thanks Margaret and Jill - we'll have to come visit you soon... we love Harold's!

Finally, a holiday card-making station, fantastic raffle prizes including a massage from Space, and Yelp lunchboxes for all were icing on the cake at this event.  But yelpers gave back as well... to our "adopt-a-family." After all, everyone deserves to enjoy the holidays. 

Check out the reviews, photos, and talk from the soirée, and feel free to chime in if you haven't done so already...

Cheers!

Until 2010, SYOY!

Gabi M

A Partridge in a Yelp Tree!

Posted by Monica
Philadelphia’s original bad boy, Danny Bonaduce, is back in town with a morning radio show, on 94WYSP, and an upcoming marriage to local yelper, Amy R. Yelp’s own Monica S got a chance to chat with the man himself about life, love, and well, scaling a 40-foot flagpole.

Monica: Why’d you pick WYSP as your new home?

DB: I don't think I chose them and I don't believe they chose me. I was born in Philadelphia and I am trying as best I can to follow in my friend, Howard Stern's, footsteps, though they may be large.

Monica: Now that you're back in Philly, what are some of the things that make you realize you are truly home?

DB: The Philadelphia Zoo lets me know I'm home. My father worked there for 20 years. Temple University makes me feel at home. My mother and father both graduated from Temple.  What has changed is incredibly good news. Part of my life was very ugly. I used to score drugs in the projects. A&E did a biography on my life, so I took them to the terrible ghettos where I used to buy drugs. I couldn't find them. They had turned into lovely condominiums. Yes, I know that they are still out there somewhere, but the ugliest places I had ever been now had finely manicured lawns.

Monica: You've got a lot of vices out of your life, how you get your kicks these days?

DB: Aside from the people I love, my greatest joy comes from my job. "Find a job that you love and you'll never work another day in your life." In that case I have not worked in 20 years. My fiancée, Amy, is also incredibly exciting. She just announced on my radio show that she would like have sex with Jayson Werth. I wanted to kill her, but my phone callers were too busy calling her a hero.
 

L_ce2eb5c8188b16091369f8738d19ea84 Monica: How is being a “Philebrity” different from being a Hollywood celebrity?

DB: In Hollywood, I’m a B-List celebrity. In Philadelphia, I’m not fighting for a position. Philadelphia Magazine says I’m the biggest celebrity in Philadelphia. That's only true as long as the Phillies, Eagles, Sixers, and Flyers all live in Jersey.

Monica: Aww! What are some of your neighborhood haunts?

DB: I eat somewhere fantastic everyday. Amada is 15 feet from my front door. Cuba Libre is about 50 feet from my house. Triumph, Mad River, Continental, are all approximately the same distance. Campo's is right at the corner and it serves one of the best cheesesteaks in town. Amy seems to prefer Sonny’s.

Monica: Speaking of which, was it love at first sight?

DB: For me, yes. If you don't believe in love at first sight, let me remind you, I married a woman 7 hours after I met her and that marriage lasted 18 years and two beautiful children. The funny thing is, I will be with Amy for the rest of my life, while she will not be with me for the rest of hers. I am 23 years her senior, a chain smoker, and a recovering druggie. I'll be lucky to live 'til Thursday.

Monica: Well the Weekly comes out on Wednesdays, so we're good. Favorite spot to check out a live show?

DB: The Spectrum. I saw more shows there than anywhere else: Springsteen, Pearl Jam, The Grateful Dead. Well, that's not completely true, for the Dead show, I only made it as far as the parking lot where I ended up spending most of the night sucking on a balloon filled with some very interesting gasses.

Monica: Ahem, moving on... If you were to coordinate a Philly bachelor party what would your stops include?

DB: Penthouse Club, Delilah's, Daydreams and Christine's Cabaret. The best part is, they're sponsors, so that means I drink free.

Monica: Sucks to be you! So are your bad boy days a thing of the past?

DB: I really never thought of myself as a bad boy, I merely got busted doing something everybody else was doing. I will say this, last week I was 15 minutes late for work because I was being held in the back of a police car. I didn't get arrested, the police just wanted to know what I was doing sitting on top of a 40-foot flagpole at five in the morning. There was a reason. Ask my boss.

December 06, 2009

Toronto Yelpers Sip Luxe Libations at Leslieville's The Curzon

Posted by Kat F.

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This past Thursday Toronto yelpers kicked off the holiday season with some serious stylin’ at Leslieville’s The Curzon for a night of Mad Men-inspired shenanigans!

Toronto Elites pulled out all the stops: we spotted faux fur stoles, fedoras, pearl necklaces, organza, silk, beehives and bumpits within the sharply-dressed crowd! With so many terrific outfits it was a challenging singling one out for best dressed, but Susan C, Christine C, Kelly O, Hana B, Chris & Danielle P were certainly top contenders! Yelpers devoured finger foods like mini BLT sandwiches, onion rings, samosas, lamb bites and drool-worthy calamari, plus homemade lemon squares and rocky peanut and marshmallow bites baked with love by Kat F. and Dave O.

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We’re pretty sure The Curzon’s beautiful bartenders J.J. (aka “Chocolate Thunder”) and Angelica (aka “Lola”) had just as much fun as we did as they dazzled us with Harp beer (est. 1960!) and sixties special “The Bramble”, made with fresh blackberries, lemon juice, Chambord and gin.

If you haven’t already, take a gander at the gorgeous photos taken by our own Neil Ta and read the reviews of the night’s festivities.

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Rannie Turingan (aka Photojunkie) was also on hand to take posed vintage photos of the beautifully dressed Elites, and after every yelper had been digitally captured, a makeshift dancefloor started buzzing with bodies after Connie T, Kate M, Stephanie C and Elliott L invaded the area.

A very special thank you to owner Mike Homewood and his staff for hosting our crew of misfits for a spectacular night!

See You On Yelp,
Kat F

Yelp Toronto Community Manager

December 04, 2009

Vancouver Gets Spiked at A Hot Chocolate Affair

Posted by Crystal H

"How could you go wrong with delicious hot chocolate, Kahlua shots, and good company on a crisp, cold winter night?" asked Nadine N at Mink, A Hot Chocolate Café where Vancouver Elites gathered this past Wednesday. You can't, especially with Earl Grey vodka shots to kick off the holiday infused festivities!

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After meeting lots of new Yelp friends, finding their secret card Santa and sharing some compliments, yelpers embarked on the night, or rather off to the after party. But the holiday cheer lives on in the handfuls of goodies we walked away with: dark rum and eggnog ganache truffles made by Mink, Carolans Irish Cream and Kahlua mugs and our holiday cards all tucked into a Yelp-tastic lunchbox.


Gina I (our official Yelp photographer this evening) captured the sugary smiles while we sampled the finest fare from Terminal City Club and recounted tales from Elite Events of the year: stripper poles on party buses, jello shooters, James Bond, and of course, now we've got spiked hot chocolates dancing in our heads too!

Until 2010, SYOY,

Crystal H

San Diego Yelpers Celebrate The HolidayS

Posted by Danny Wurst

There was a parade of holidays on hand at the SD elite party on December 1st. Over 200 yelpers gathered at West Coast Tavern celebrating Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's, Valentine's, and even the Super Bowl. It was a Christma-quanzi-callow-anksgiv-entine's Day

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'Twas an evening of complimentary Smirnoff Vodka cocktails and Bud Light brews quenching thirsts, and an assortment of dishes were eaten until near stomach bursts. Yelpers got down to the hoppin' beats of DJ Edgartronic, and posed for greeting card snapshots courtesy of Guided By Imagination Photography.

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What's a holiday party without presents? On limited edition Yelp lunchboxes, on shot glasses, and party favors so tight. And que the Easter Bunny who showered birthday, Channakah, and X-mas gifts to all, and to all it was a good night

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Check out the pics, write a review, or see who's talking about it. Silicon Alley Insider is!! 

Happy HolidayS

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Danny W

San Diego Community Manager

December 03, 2009

Artisan du Chocolat Treats London Elites

Posted by Laura Nestler

On a chilly December evening, an exclusive group of Yelp Elites were warmly welcomed into beautiful Artisan du Chocolat for an intimate behind the scenes look (and taste) of one of London's finest chocolate makers.
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While waiting for the tasting to begin, Elites warmed up with drinking chocolate made from real chocolate flakes in a variety of flavours and origins from mole chili to white chocolate with matcha. Limited edition malted chocolate went down a treat for first time event goers Joanna R & Rebecca O.

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The Cocoa Pulp Bellini kicked off the event, a cocktail uniquely developed for this store by Nick Strangeway, one of London's cocktail gurus. Then began the tutored tasting of cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, as choxperts like Larissa D were schooled in the process from bean to bar, butter to bon-bon. Have we mentioned that Artisan du Chocolat is the only manufacturer in the UK to produce chocolate from unrefined cocoa liquor? 

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The chocogasm continued with, what else... more chocolate! This round featured various origin bars, couture chocolates in whimsical flavours, truffles, the famous liquid salted caramels (loved by Elites and Gordon Ramsey alike) bursting with flavours like sage & thyme, lemongrass, pink and black pepper, and balsamico malpighi (yes, that's balsamic vinegar for those of you still paying attention!) and even the unusual tobacco chocolate, created for Heston Bluementhal of the Fat Duck.

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The night concluded with buzzing Elites sinking their teeth into champagne truffles and stocking up on stocking stuffers, proving that it is indeed ever so sweet to be Elite!
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Craving a little more? Read the reviews on Yelp and sample the drool-worthy photos snapped by Kristian Leven. Endless thanks to our personal artisans du chocolat at the Notting Hill Artisan du Chocolat for an evening that will haunt our chocolatey dreams forever!

Cheers & Chocolate,
Laura N

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Yelpers Cozy Up at Metro Detroit's Underground Holiday Bash!

Posted by Mariah C

'Tis the season to be Yelpy!  Donning red get-ups, candy cane stockings, and the occasional reindeer antlers, Metro Detroit Yelpers rung in the holidays at Yelp's Underground Holiday Bash.
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Royal Oak's subterranean Commune provided the perfect place to burrow in and get cosy, with a bevy of craft brews by sister restaurant Bastone as well as giant hot pretzels.  Wine bar Vinotecca contributed sips of red-n-white, along with nibbles of their various thin-crust pizzas.
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The decoration station got people feeling crafty with decked-out stockings, ornaments, snowmen and dreidels. A seasonal photo booth and photog Daniel M provided an opportunity for everyone to embrace the (fake) snow and show a lil' holiday spirit!

Check out the snaps and reviews, and until next time...to all a good night... and...
SYOY!
Mariah C

December 02, 2009

Chicagoland Yelp Elites Sit Down to a Good Karma Dinner Party

Posted by Jelena Z

This past Monday evening, Yelp Elites were wined, dined and otherwise enticed by La Grange's newest addition to the local dining scene, Kama Bistro. Upon arrival at the elegant restaurant, guests were wooed with a welcome cocktail, either a fresh mango or pineapple martini.

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After some mixin' and minglin', guests sat down for a taste adventure which focused on traditional flavors representing the Punjabi region of India. Appetizers included Chicken Lemon Tadka, Paneer Karara, two variations of Chicken Tikka, Fish Amritsari and some special off-the-menu lamb meatballs! A refreshing plum cardamom juice drink was served to cleanse the palate before bringing out the course of red and white Argentine wines. 

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The Yelp Elites were then bedazzled by a sword-wielding belly dancer before noshing on the signature entrée, Lamb Biryani with Raita (a traditional Hyderabad royal family recipe). Wait, but there's still more! The exhilarating epicurean journey culminated with saffron-laced rice pudding.

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A huge thanks goes out to our gracious hosts, the staff of Kama Bistro for making this full-on dinner party possible! And of course, thanks to Rain Vodka for providing the spike to the mango and pineapple martinis. You can read the reviews from your fellow yelpers here, and peep the photos snapped by photographer Matt Ginger (Ginger By Design).

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Until next time, SYOY!

Jelena Z