As you’ve read, our lovely Miss. Minty is far cooler than the UG girls, so when she asked me to be her “plus one” for the Yelp.com party at J Lounge in downtown, I willingly agreed. I met her there a bit shy of 7P and the line was surprisingly not worrisome. It was a cold night and I don’t know why but I decided to wear my most scandalous looking ensemble. Our friend, Arun, always takes one look at me and says “JoMo, where’s the rest of your outfit?!” He’s certainly right most of the time and I really should start gauging the efficacy of my outfits in relation to the weather.
I was far ahead of Minty in line but Minty, despite being a Yelp Elite, exerted much willpower and didn’t cut in line with me. You really got to admire that girl. At exactly 7P, the doors opened and the line moved rather briskly. In no time at all, I was inside and headed upstairs with some of Minty’s peers and grabbed a specialty cocktail. I scoped up the place and saw a rather disproportionate amount of sweet to savory vendors. There were five sweet vendors inside and a few others outside. Not a usual sweet aficionado, I admit that the adorable little suckers below by Dollhouse Bake Shoppe were adorable. They were not for sample, but I don’t even think I could even bring myself to eat such beautiful and petite goodies.
I was told there would be over 1K people there, but I must admit that I was a little shocked at the low turnout. But hey, I thought the night was still young and we continued outside and waited for more patrons to arrive. To our surprise there was a runway show with women dressed as flight attendants passing out food on a catwalk. I was confused. I later found out that they were from Kitchen 12000. The company is in Glendale and I heard about it over a year ago and have been meaning to try it. It seems like an interesting group of founders and, well, I am glad I got to see the live show in action. The experience was memorable but I think it fell short of the point. As we looked around, people were just confused. Why were girls on catwalks and stages?!! And most importantly, why were they showing you how to put on a life vest and safety belts?! It seemed out of place and a gratuitous display of scantily clad women. It just seemed strange and unfitting for the occasion. And trust me, I come from a design background where form usually overrides function, but I (and everyone else) could not see the sense in it – especially, with this devoted crowd where food always takes precedent over anything. However, I have seen their food pics online and I am eager to try it (minus the flight attendants).
After 26 years, I have recently picked up coffee as a preferred beverage and perhaps the funniest moment came from the stoner-looking guy on the patio who was pushing his coffee and coffee flavored desserts. He was handing out medical bottles with coffee beans in it and a sticker that said “legalize it”. I don’t know if he was an actor but he was acting stoned and said to me, “take this coffee, man, it’s dangerous. It’ll keep you up all night.” I laughed and took a bottle and some deserts. On one hand, Kitchen 12000 failed in connecting it’s experience to its product, Coffee Nugs created a memorable touch-point that was novel and funny. I can appreciate that.
VeronicaInLA and I have become buddies over the past few weeks and she joined us for the ending festivities. We spent a bit more time at the Yelp party and headed to the new Big Wangs in downtown to meet up with a few new friends. I will report back soon.
I have to say, Yelp’s most charming facet is its members, and in LA, its members are fabulous. And hell, any company that can bring all those cool ass people together and throw a party to celebrate, is f-in ok in my book. However, I will say this – I have yet to attend a CitySearch party and from what Carina says, there’s a new player in town and she’s slowly usurping the hearts of many of Yelp’s Elite and early adopters. I’d watch my back, Yelp. Just sayin’…