San Francisco in May – Yelp sucks

Last weekend we were in San Francisco.

Ming headed down early in the week for Java One then Chelsea and I headed down on Thursday for work.

Thursday night Chels and I grabbed dinner at Bocadillos, a cute little Tapas place just north of our office; we definitely recommend it. We sat beside two folks evaluating what looked like next month’s cover of Dwell.

Friday night after happy hour with our San Francisco office we met up with Ming and John and tried to find some nice lounges in the Mission. We hit some of the top rated ones and they were a complete bust; thanks Yelpers! We then headed to south SoMA and went to Nihon, a whiskey bar, that was pretty reasonable. Then we tried to go to a few more Yelp recommendations but found one to be either non-existent or we were ringing the wrong bell, and one to be quite smelly. To save the night we went to the Redwood Room in the Clifton Hotel which isn’t rated well by the Yelpers but is enjoyable with its art.

Saturday we met up with Katrina for brunch at the farmer’s market and had an outdoors breakfast.

And then headed down to Room and Board and a string of modern furniture stores.

After Room and Board we hit the streets for some protesting:

And then hit up some more modern furniture stores. Some of the ones we enjoyed were Monument, Architectural Elements, Zonal, Propeller and X21 Modern. The highlight was X21 Modern, a store where weird stuff goes to be bought by the San Francisco trendies.

I really liked these binoculars:

Though more practical would be a light:

I also love the Winter Robin at Propeller Modern:

Anyhow, now you know what to get me for my birthday.

Saturday night we dined at Perbacco. Again so-so Yelp reviews but was highly enjoyable.

For drinks afterwards we headed to Bourbon and Branch, a reservations only, speakeasy, with many rules. We highly recommend if you’re into vintage cocktails, cool ambiance and able to play by the rules. After our allotted hour and a half we moved on to North Beach again using Yelp as our guide, only to fail. We then tried to recover by heading to The Matrix Filmore in the Marina where we’ve ended up a few times now.

Sunday we started out with bottomless Mimosas at Lime for brunch. Lime’s a fun dance music playing brunch spot in the Castro. Bring your sunglasses, it is apparently in to wear them to the breakfast.

Next stop was the northern piers for some sight seeing.

In terms of bars this trip was a definite bust and left a bad taste in my mouth. Usually I come home from San Francisco ready to move there but this time not. We really need to find a local guide to help us out because Yelp has failed us time and again. And unfortunately the locals we know are mostly gay or newly arrived and not much help in this department .

So Yelp… Yelp is the talk of San Francisco but yet I hate it. On many trips to San Francisco I have consulted the Yelp. I’ve visited places with high rating, I’ve visited places with low ratings. Much more often than not reality does not match up with the Yelp ratings.

What has worked for me is asking people I know for recommendations. For instance, Jane, is my goto person in San Francisco for restaurants and shopping. She knows where it is going on. Sasha had some good furniture recommendations. Jim knows where the gay’s brunch and Glenn always sends me a long email with sure winners for everything.

What I want is a site where I can get recommendations for people who have similar tastes to my own. Or a site where people I know can write up their recommendations. For instance a friend of my sister’s is visiting in June. What I need to do is point her to the Matt Recommends page, not to Yelp, where she’ll spend hours reading conflicting reviews.

All in all, still a good trip, though I was glad to be home and as always, be sure to bring good footwear. Even when you take the Muni there is still a lot of walking.

Oh, and what’s up with drinks being $10+ everywhere? I felt like I was in Manhattan.

Photos: My photos, Chelsea’s photos and Ming’s photos

This entry was posted in Photos, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to San Francisco in May – Yelp sucks

  1. Bahn Lee says:

    Bourbon and Branch was cool. It took a couple passes on the street to find. Outside of the initial password at the door thing it just felt like a nice, upscale bar. We didn’t walk around.

    Redwood Room used to be one of my favorite bars but I was sorely disappointed this time. The younger crowd and the whole waiting in line like it’s a club just sucked. We left after one drink.

  2. steve says:

    you are correct – yelp is absolutely worthless. and i think you give it too much credit by describing it as “the talk of san francisco”. every day more and more folks are catching on to the simple fact that yelp is a sham with one goal in mind – to create as much traffic as possible with little to no regard for website content. this is achieved by less than honest means including paying “yelpers” for their “reviews” and creating incentive programs that reward “yelpers” for flooding yelp websites with “reviews”. no serious foodie would ever say “i heard about this place on yelp”.

  3. Here is some more information regarding the Yelp / Razzberry Lips story:
    *Yelp’s sales reps use negative postings as a “lead source” to call the owner and attempt to sell Business Owner Accounts. * I received a phone call from a sales rep named Summer who stated that negative reviews could be moved to the bottom of the page and possibly removed in the future if I purchased a Business Owner Account. * The hypocrisy of the Yelp founders Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons is legendary , and is further amplified by their removal of my negative “review” of Yelp on their own website. So much for , “The voice of the people” or “Real People. Real Reviews” * Yelp hires paid “Yelpers” $15 / dollars an hour to write reviews because their business model is not succeeding. The ads for paid Yelpers can be found on Craigslist in every metro area in the U.S. You could call this, ” Paid People . Fake Reviews”. * On Friday July 4th , 2008 , the SF Chronicle ran an article about how Yelp removes establishments from Yelp if they complain or expose the Yelp hypocrisy publicly. * It is a known fact that Yelp is losing money at a burn rate that could put them out of business by next year. There is another popular website which has a “dead pool” in which the overwhelming number of readers select Yelp to go out of business within a year. They are desperate and are not performing a level public service as they represent. * They allow any unfounded accusation to remain on their site , no matter how inaccurate , without any regard for validation. * I attempted several times to contact the founders Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons regarding the situation described in the Mike Cassidy article. As cowards will do , they hid behind their desks. * My wife’s business will continue to thrive for many more successful years and will outlast Yelp as they circle the drain throwing money at paid Yelpers and salespeople.
    * Yelp claims to have 10,000 viewers each month ? Right there that should tell you that Yelp spokesperson Stephanie Ichinose and Jeremy Stoppleman are liers and stretch the numbers* What they don’t tell you is that more than 2/3’s of these are repeat viewers. So they really have 3 million unique users/viewers . Also 1/2 of these are in the SF Bay Area…which is why they are frantically hiring “Paid Yelpers” from Craigslist ads in the rest of the U.S.

  4. The official Yelp policy is that businesses who have purchased a Business Owner Account are allowed to remove one review of their choice for every 6 consecutive months of Business Owner Account membership.

  5. Below’s a thread about someone giving a company a bad review, and then a Yelp employee going out of their way to contact and eventually harass the reviewer. When the reviewer blocks the employee’s communications to avoid further harassment, the employee then opens a public thread, and divulges private emails.??

    The employee at first vehemently denies being paid by Yelp, but later gets caught confessing to the whole thing:?”yelps pays me a lot of money to protect its sponsors. its a good racket. dont blow it for me.”?The fact that this same employee who began the harassment has also given the other company a glowing review, is completely unethical to say the least.??

    See for yourself, and quickly, before Yelp pulls the thread down to cover up their tracks:?

  6. Janet says:

    Yelp is a complete racket! I have had eight 5 star reviews removed but one disgruntled associate loses her job and spend the next two months becoming an elite yelper just so she can post a fake negative review about my business. And, it will never be removed. Now they call weekly to get me to advertise on their site. They want me to pay them money to facilitate a blank bitching board for any peon to write any biased review about my business without any verification or recourse? Oh Yes, now businesses can respond but that doesn’t affect the star rating which is what clients see when they do a search. I am astonished that there is no legal recourse. I am so looking forward to Yelp going down. They are greedy bastards and deserve to be sued into oblivion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *