Welcome once again to the den of poor writing, poor taste, and poor judgment known as Yelp Orange County. This week's edition runs the gamut from reviews obviously written by stringing together CAPTCHA challenges, inside information on those seedy Vietnamese bars, and people who accidentally happen upon great cocktails.
As always, if you read a particularly worthy Yelp review, send it to me, either in the comments, or via e-mail--just click on my name in the byline above and then the "E-mail author" link. Tell me in the e-mail, too, if you want a hat tip should I use your suggestion.
Rosa S.'s 4-star review of Chyll Restaurant & Lounge
We'll start off with a good review--one written by someone intimately familiar with a sub-sub-subset of Vietnamese cuisine that even most food reviewers are unfamiliar with. It's daunting to go into a quan nhau (a Vietnamese bar), because there are rules and cultural cues that you won't know unless you work there or you're a Vietnamese guy.
It would have been better to give an explanation of what the atmosphere of a quan nhau is, given that there are at least six non-Asians who are members of Yelp. For those who are wondering, they're dark, they're full of Vietnamese girls with bad boob jobs (hint: the nipples aren't supposed to point upwards from the top!), and they're the old-boyest of old-boy clubs.
It's encouraging to know they have good shaken beef, though--that stuff is awesome.
Paul V.'s 3-star review of G Burger
Don't get me wrong, Paul V., I like G Burger a lot--and they've done well by us here at OC Weekly, where they were once best burger and in the running for our Game of Burgers contest--but you'd never know it, because your review is completely illegible. Run-on sentences, txtspeak abbrevs, completely arbitrary capitalization, unnecessary repetitions of adjectives, random insane laughter inserted mid-sentence, and more. It took me several minutes to turn your post into an actual review, and I still had trouble with things like "ambient music" (is it good ambient music? did you mean ambient-house music?).
Food Network may be calling G Burger, Paul V., but the Santa Monica Review is definitely not going to be calling you.
Jenny A.'s 3-star review of Henry's Bar & Grill
I have been to Henry's Bar in Garden Grove many times--it's a very good dive bar, they have a great happy hour menu if you're into standard dive-bar American snacks, and the plaid-and-skinny-jeans-wearing plagues haven't invaded the place yet--but I have yet to see a gay cholo in there. To be honest, I've only rarely seen a cholo of any sexual orientation in Henry's, though perhaps I'm not there at the right times.
Still, that's not the biggest issue with this three-word review. No, the biggest problem with this three-word review is that we don't know if the gay cholo thing (assuming it's true) is a positive or a negative trait of the place. Do you like the gay cholo scene, Jenny A.? We can't tell, because your review is straddling the fence. Let's look at the positives and negatives.
The pros: gay cholos wouldn't be hitting on you, and you'd be able to get great advice on which color Cortez to pair with your past-knee-length Dickies shorts. The cons: the bar is prone to break out into catfights at about waist level, it's hard to get near the bar with everybody leaning on it with their elbows up, side to side, and once you do get there, they're always out of Modelo Especial.
Melanie S.'s 3-star review of 320 Main
This review just goes to prove that a bar owner can sit there with spreadsheets and costing and representatives from Young's Market Company and Southern Wine & Spirits and the other liquor distributors, geek out for hours over cocktail recipes long past, slave away in the kitchen over this and that infused syrup or acidic shrub, and drive himself insane trying to create a well-balanced list of craft cocktails...
...and then someone will come along and order a cocktail because it sounds like "Pimp's Cup." Congratulations, Melanie S., you've stumbled completely airheadedly into the world of craft cocktails. Next time try the Manhattan--it's like the Brooklyn, but with fewer hipsters.
Silvia D.'s 5-star review of Juan Pollo
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SHOW ME HOW
Occasionally, Yelp reviewers actually manage to write coherent English sentences, though I'd like to point out that in professional writing, you get exactly one exclamation point per lifetime; this seems like a poor place to spend it.
No, the issue here is that Silvia D. has no taste buds. This Juan Pollo is around the corner from my office, and it's fast enough that I can get my food and be back at my desk in 10 minutes flat if the traffic lights are working with me, and I have to say it is quite possibly the worst rotisserie chicken in the county. I would eat the heat-lamped chicken goo served at the Vons on Haster and Chapman before I'd eat at Juan Pollo again. The chicken is so dry it can bring down the relative humidity in a large office; the salsa is your choice of watery red vegetable pulp, or watery red vegetable pulp with large crunchy chunks of serrano chile; the beans could be used for spackle; the tortillas make me long for Mission. The only redeeming quality about this particular Juan Pollo is the one Silvia D. didn't matter--the industrial but oddly compelling potato salad.