On Wednesday, after over a pound of shrimp at Boiling Crab, the Minty took me as her +1 to the Yelp Elite party at Taix. My feelings towards Yelp have been mixed. Prior to having a blog, I loved Yelp, as soon as I took a bite into something delicious I phrased sentences in my head for a review. It was always this tight world of Elites, cliques, and the message board regulars. After we started Uncouth Gourmands, we became fascinated with the Yelp demographic; it was a group I wanted to infiltrate and better understand. I finally got my Yelp Elite badge sometime in 2009. I went to the parties and from what I understand this was when Yelp LA was at its height. The sponsors were better, the parties were classy, and Yelp LA was now the largest Yelp market. I loved Dawson (SauceLA), the new friends I was making, and it was a great mix of people. After Dawson and Yelp LA parted ways my enthusiasm dwindled. My reviews have halted and, well, I do not have an Elite 2010 badge. I want to write more reviews and reach my old stature but with all of the UG stuff I’ve been writing it has been difficult. The party at Taix was French themed, I didn’t have a beret but I was glad that my sweater matched Minty’s beret. I ran into some of my favorite bloggers/yelpers Weird TV, Jenny B, Sino Soul, and more.
I was full from my dinner at my favorite restaurant so I just stuck to some red wine and a bit of baked brie. It was a fun night but Yelp is definitely as cliquey as ever. I have dated a few Yelpers in my day and one of these gentleman has also dated a few Yelpers. It is is so high school but I was glared at all night and the guy that I am still friendly with got text messages while he was talking to me that said, “Yay, I love being ignored.” Sometimes I miss high school, so its okay. With or without my Elite Badge it is still a tight group that is hard to infiltrate.
The following day was the first ever CitySearch LA Dictator party. Minty was the one that told me about this program and there is something I really liked about it. You get weekly assignments to write either lists or reviews and you can win prizes like restaurant gift cards or even hotel stays. On Thursday, I dropped off my new CFO near USC and then raced into West Hollywood before the party started at the Surly Goat. I called my WeHo guy to see if he wanted to be my date. He agreed, but he is not exactly a party animal. He had to be back at 8P to do inventory and other work. He also could barely finish a pint of beer, but I am not complaining. He did, however, make a funny joke about dictators that involved putting a body part that I don’t have in to a bowl of taters (potatoes). I walked in only knowing one of the Citysearch LA editors, Charlie, and the Minty.
I ended up seeing Diana Takes A Bite, meeting Food For Fel (If you ever wondered what her blog name meant, her name is Felicia and she goes by Fel), and another one of my favorite yelpers Gastronomnom. I got a stamp, drinks were on CitySearch, and a good time was had by all. The Surly Goat was a very mellow beer bar and not what I would ever expect in the center of WeHo. They carried our local favorite neighborhood brew from the Eagle Rock Brewery guys and I had a very banana scented Hef. I will have to take my beer loving other half, Josie, there at a later time to get the full report but I was impressed. Too bad my date was such a bad drinker. The night was mellow and it was kind of like seeing Yelpers in exile. We met all of the awesome editors including one woman who went to school in New Orleans and we talked about how it is so cheap to drink in that city and I reminisced on my trip there at this time last year. It was a nice night and towards the end of the evening two ladies that brought everyone the LA Street Food Fest, Sauce LA and Unique LA, made a cameo. I had to take my date on the tight schedule home but I came back to keep the night going and The Minty and I went for sushi afterward. I heard some Yelpers say that they are still searching for their CitySearch voice, and I completely understand. I am most comfortable writing here on UG, but I am trying to branch out to keep me current and I like going to parties. I will work on writing more Yelp reviews and today I wrote my first citysearch list entitled, Hotels with the Biggest Personality in LA. In other words, I don’t want to choose, I want it all! In a city as big and spread out as LA I love any group or association where I can see old friends, make new ones, and hear about great new places in LA to eat and drink.