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The Week in Yelp: Academy Awards Edition

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From the people who brought you The Week in Craig, one of the all time great uses of the internet, comes Eater's newest feature: The Week in Yelp, wherein Amy Blair takes aim at the ridiculousness that is the world of Yelp. Her intrepid Yelp-surfing, and words, follow:

2008_01_yelp.jpgI'm a bit, what you might call, unhealthily obsessed with the Academy Awards right now. The show is this Sunday, and about a week ago I realized that I was really, really behind in my quest to see EVERYTHING that was nominated this year. I know that this is nerdy and awful (and possibly insane), but in the past six days I have seen The Savages, Eastern Promises, There Will Be Blood, No End In Sight, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Into The Wild, I'm Not There, Juno, Atonement, In The Valley of Elah and No Country For Old Men. That's right. Eleven movies nominated in various categories in six friggin' days. AND I have a full-time job. And possibly a drinking problem. And yet! The quest goes on. I've still got Michael Clayton, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, and, um, Ratatouille still to go before Sunday. Which is to say, I've got Oscar nominees coming out of my ass. And, in keeping with the theme, the trend continues on Yelp...

What’s hotter than hot? Totally getting a reservation at Mr. Chow because you know someone who knows someone who knows someone who SORTA knows Johnny Depp OMG!!!!

You have to be somebody to get a table at this place. Luckily for me I was invented by someone that worked for Johnny Depp. It's very pricey. This place is so cool your walking into people that you seen in movie lawyers and music procedures! I would good back. Not for the food but to network!
I have no idea what music procedures are, but I do know what it means to be in movie lawyers (if you catch my drift, wink, wink), so, um, where was I going with this? Oh, right. Mr. Chow. Unless you were “invented” by someone who used to work for Johnny Depp?yeah. You probably don’t want to go there.

Perhaps being creepy around Daniel Day-Lewis at Alta is more your style?

Came here with a group and we had a blast! First we all hung out at the bar where I enjoyed several of their white sangrias. Then on my way to the bathroom (even though it was against my better judgment to break the seal) I exchanged lingering glances with Sean Penn. I kid you not. He totally wanted me...to get out of the way so he could go outside and smoke.

When I told my friends about my encounter, they informed me that Sean was there with Daniel Day Lewis and Robin Wright-Penn and that the staff had set up a table outside on the sidewalk for the three of them so that Sean could smoke. Remembering that Alta is CASH ONLY (a cardinal sin in my book, which I will excuse for this night only), I used the opportunity to go to the ATM and walk by them very slowly (on my way back I saw my friend had excused herself to take an "important phone call" outside as well).

Ok, so back to Alta. Aside from being starstruck, this place served great food too! It's small plates, so going with a group is a good idea so you can try more things. The brussel sprouts are great, as are the bacon wrapped dates. Everything was just great!
Nothing like a small plate of brussel sprouts for when you’re creeping out a couple of celebrities. Oh, to be famous!

So, Cate Blanchett. She’s nominated for Best Actress AND Best Supporting Actress. But possibly my favorite of her appearances is the role she plays in this little train wreck at Blue Owl. Remember when you were fifteen and you frequently subsisted for entire days on nothing more than a package of Pop Tarts and a handful of candy corn? And then you’d go to a party at some senior’s house, down a Zima during a game of “I Never,” and then puked in the backseat of your friend’s mother’s Ford Taurus after falling down the stairs in front of a Totally Hot Guy? I know, so embarrassing, right?! Anyway, this was all proof that those were some strooooong drinks. Totally.

The following conversation is evidence of the Blue Owl's exceptional happy hour:

Me (Drinking the Volsted): Mmmmm...whiskey. I feel like I'm getting in touch with my southern roots. Except classier.
Alicia D.(Drinking Loisaida): Tastes like a popsicle!!! You know, flamenco dancing is so amazing.
Me: My god, yes! You can just feel the passion!

A few delicious sips later...

Me: The BAM double feature on Sunday was intense. Judi Dench was a FREAK.
Alicia: Yeah, especially the part where she "strokes" Cate Blanchett...
Me: I used to do that with my friends in church!! (To bartender) Barkeep!! We'd like to order some cheeses! Sheep, goat, cow!

After cheese and second martini:

Me (Drinking Shebeen): I'm drunk.
Alicia (Drinking another Loisaida): You know, I think I'm going to try the Skittles diet again. It's the only time I really lost weight.
Me: [staring at companion, then bursting into laughter] Yeah, like the gummy bears diet! Totally fat free! Wait.... are you serious?
Alicia: Yeah, I'm just gonna eat a lot of Skittles.

Thus proving the drinks are strong....

Moving on. You know what really freaks me out? Those women who are really, really into?cupcakes. You know what I’m talking about?they’re between 25-35 years old, slightly nerdy, were once HUGE Tori Amos fans, enjoy knitting, wear bad shoes, and have forged some kind of creepy collective identity based upon a shared love of cupcakes, of all things. Don’t get me wrong, I like cupcakes, too. It’s just that the cupcake cult really creeps me out. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, consider yourself lucky. I’m sorry to drag poor Laura Linney into all this?

I really love Miette for all it's pastel-ie pink-ie cute-sieness, and am not at all ambivalent or bi-polar about its girlieness like I am about Anthropologie.

When thoughts of smothering oneself with those irresistible $3 Old Fashioned whipped marshmallow frosted cupcakes rouse the heart to flutter, sending your body into joyous convulsions like you're Laura Linney in 'Love Actually' excusing yourself to stifle a scream in the hallway after a longed kiss, you know you got problems.

Oh, and those square scones are heaven. I am woman. Hear me roar.

Get on, girl!

And last but not least, I don’t know about you, but when I think “Pinkberry,” I think?Eastern Promises?

it'll be interesting to see who wins the yogurt wars. will it be pinkberry, with its simple, scandinavian design aesthetic? or will it be red mango, with its superior product (as i've been told from yogurt connoisseurs)? or maybe one of the others?

this reminds me of the smoothie wars a couple of years back, when jamba juice eventually came out on top over a bunch of contenders like fresh blend, etc.

in the end, i really don't care who wins. i think the eventual winner will have to find a way to market yogurt to straight dudes, since i don't really see my guy friends dropping their cold stone concoctions for a bowlful of fruity pebbles just yet.

(oh right! this isn't the brian w. business case review hour, it's still yelp restaurant reviews. 3 stars to this pinkberry, a big plus for their validated parking service obviously run by the russian mafia. our ticket attendant looked liked viggo mortensen in "eastern promises." scary.)
I’m sorry, but a Pinkberry parking attendant is?scary? I gotta go watch Ratatouille?

—Amy Blair

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