This week's Red Pencil Diaries feature a Yelper who can't find a good alternative even when surrounded by them; a Yelper who doesn't understand the physics of too much food in a finite stomach; someone who is confused as to what a Korean barbecue restaurant is; a jilted Japanese food lover who's angry at her soulmate; and the stoic, terse Yelper who can't count.
You'll have to forgive the lack of positive reviews of Yelp reviews this week: my algorithm for finding Yelp reviews didn't send me anything worthy of cheering, and I'm in a cranky mood anyway. Read on!
Dan P.'s 5-star review of Moo Dae Po Fullerton:
Well, it's certainly concise; using this as a template for estimation, your fourteen reviews have racked up a grand total of 98 words. Brevity is the soul of wit, but it does help to have your review match your star rating. If the food is “pretty good”, why is it five stars? Do you not see the descriptions as you hover over the stars? Did your hand slip on the mouse as you clicked? Or are you only rating venues based on service? Maybe more than seven words would be helpful.
Lalida S.'s 3-star review of Claim Jumper:
This made the Red Pencil Diaries for the shocking lack of awareness of your surroundings. I had to click through to see which Claim Jumper you were talking about; had it been Brea, you wouldn't be in these pages. No, it's the one at South Coast Plaza, near some of the best restaurants we have to offer. Capital Grille, absolutely. But the others? Whom are you kidding? Why not Marché Moderne, Bella Cuba, Chicken Maison, or Leatherby's Café Rouge rather than the congealed upchuck they serve at the Rainforest Café? Yelper, heal thyself!
Emily P.'s 2-star review of Corea Kalbi Korean BBQ:
Oh, of course. It was the restaurant that made you sick, and not your own poor choices. It was definitely the fault of the food, and not the fact that Corea Galbi is an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue where you and your boyfriend probably gorged on two pounds each of salty meat chased with spicy, fermented side dishes, a bowl of rice the size of a baby's head, and more likely than not washed it down with alcohol. Nope, that wouldn't make you sick at all.
Learn what food poisoning is. It isn't cyanide, and this is not an Agatha Christie murder mystery. Food poisoning takes two to six hours to incubate and produce the first symptoms. If you actually had food poisoning, you wouldn't be bitching on Yelp, you'd be unable to move away from the toilet. It's more than stomach pains, but never mind… you'd rather just trash a restaurant.
I wish more restaurants would sue Yelpers for libel. Whether or not the statements rise to the level of libel is frankly irrelevant; just the news of suits, running through the Yelp forums like wildfire, would change a lot of these bald statements of “facts” to expressions of opinion in a hurry.
Pauline M.'s 2-star review of Guppy House:
Oh yes, the Breakup Yelp. I've been going to this restaurant for generations, always was so great, patati-patata, but one bad experience that I'm blowing way out of proportion? They didn't have the entire menu memorized and I had to actually, like, talk to them? Ugh! I'm so leaving forever, and trashing you on Yelp. What-ever.
You'll be back, Pauline M. You won't remove the Yelp review, of course, but you'll be back. The “yummy” food will bring you back, and sooner than you think.
Sally N.'s 3-star review of Gen Korean BBQ:
FACT: Most Korean barbecues don't have liquor licenses, only beer and wine licenses. Why, you ask? Because Koreans drink their Crown or Chivas at bars, not at dinner. Dinner is for soju and beer and bokbunja, all of which fall under a beer and wine license. Why, then, is there a bartender? Because even in this fairly tolerant state, someone has to serve you alcohol.
FACT: Gen is a restaurant, not a sports bar. As such, two seems like a good number of televisions to have. If you want TVs plastering every available vertical surface, try Centerfields a few lights down on Beach Boulevard. Be warned, though: the Korean barbecue at Centerfields sucks so badly they don't even put it on the menu.
FACT: Gen is an all-you-can-eat barbecue restaurant. This means that they are not exactly going to be jumping at every chance to serve you more meat and lower their profit margin on your dinner. You're just going to have to (ewwww…) interact with the staff a little more.
There was a crazy line at 6 p.m. because only blue-haired old ladies and tourists with jet lag eat at 5:30 p.m.
Oh, while we're at it, and it's very Yelp-y to say things like, “They have better food than Cham, but Cham gives me free things, so I like it better.” You'll be an Elite before you know it with an attitude like that!
P.S. You didn't actually give them three and a half stars. You gave them three stars. Trying to add half a star by writing in your review is like trying to protect your copyright on Facebook by posting a clueless status about it.