by Cristina Cook | Like a lot of people I know in professional kitchens, I pretend that I don’t waste a lot of time dwelling on Yelp, the “user review” site that turns idiots into lions and restaurant owners into apologetic ass-kissers. Since few – if any – of my peers ever respond to the reviews, which are usually full of shit and written by people who live in caves (with high speed internet), I thought I’d take the liberty of sharing and commenting on some pages from my therapeutic Yelp Diary…
“You may find a few celebrities here from time to time…” | Brian L. on Earls West End | A thousand times yes! If you dine out because you really want to see celebrities, please go to Earls.
“Ambiance – I still haven’t figured this out…the decoration looks high class, the place has a good ocean view, but you have mix of people dressing up formal, business casual and casual all talking very loud in the restaurant. Maybe they are trying to create some sort of fusion ambiance?” | Jayce C. on Miku | Hi Jayce, my friends call me Vancouver, but you can call me The Ambiance at Miku. Also, fuck off.
“Awful, awful, awful. Service was great. No thanks.” | Peter P. on Fable | I cut out an extraneous paragraph in this review because I’m collecting evidence for Yelp executives on how awesome it would be if they encouraged their contributors to write only in haiku.
“I will not go back again as it seems I pay a fortune for half a portion food, rude server, snub manager and kicked out after just because I dare to mention their bloody bird will sick people.” | Lucky B. on La Pentola | Be advised. If you go to La Pentola, “Bloody bird will sick people.” And probably without warning. Good luck.
And speaking of bloody birds… “No. No. No.” | Francis L. on Blackbird | Actually, that’s pretty spot on.
“This place sucks more dicks than a machine designed with the sole intended purpose of sucking the most dicks possible in the shortest amount of time.” Deedee S. on The Diamond | I normally get miffed at “this place sucks” reviews when they don’t provide any context (ie. why does it suck?), but Deedee’s lurid illustration actually makes me want to go to The Diamond. I mean, that’s a lot of dicks!
And speaking of dicks… “I realized, sitting visibly but inaccurately melancholic at my table in Chambar, staring intently into my water like I’m checking it for neutrinos, that I’ve fallen into a cliché probably inevitable given the empty seat across from me. I was that lonely man unaccompanied in a French restaurant, a prime source of comedy open for improvisation by the likes of Robin Williams and John Ritter.” Chris D. on Chambar | Holy good god! The writing is reminiscent of Alexandra Gill’s, but only if she grew a dick and then cut it off in frustration like some mythical foodster Van Gogh. Ritter knows what I’m talking about!
“Holy Thick Rim Glasses, Batman! Get out the tight pants, and let’s all wear toques inside! Sorry, Hipsters drive me crazy. Trying to prove how cool, unique and creative they are, yet somehow they all end up looking pretty much the same. Bestie is a total hipster haven.” Booja H. on Bestie | So, you give them a 1 star review after you say you love the concept, the decor, and the service but you hate the customers and don’t “understand what would possess someone to crave sausages for lunch”? Eat at home, moron. Special quandary: Anyone who uses the word “hipster” as an insult in 2014 should be registered like a sex offender, but anyone who uses the word “Batman” with that insult desperately needs to get laid.
“Stablefish – It was over cooked and bland” | Annie M. on Coast | And yet perfectly stable. Amazing! Two out of three ain’t bad, Coast. Hold your lame head up and remember that it’s not about how intelligent your customers are, it’s about how much money they are willing to spend.
“Let me ask you this: who shows up to a strip club to have a pound of greasy ribs and eats them in the gyno row while some broad is spreading her legs in front of you? I don’t know about you, but when I see those beef curtains wagging in my face I sure get hungry for ribs.” | Evelyn T. on No. 5 Orange | Mmm, ribs!
I’m still browsing, so expect another instalment of my Yelp Diary soon.
Cristina grew up in rural Ontario and dropped out of journalism school to show up on time and cut various foods before applying heat to them at Toronto’s George Brown College. She has been employed by the same well regarded restaurant in Vancouver since she moved here in 2006. Though Cristina Cook is not her real name, she cooks, and is very Cristina.