Boldo Bol: From the Earth to Your Lips

Categories: Review Reviews

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Photo by Dustin Ames
Bowled over

"Is she really going to put all that stuff into one bowl?" I thought to myself, eyeing the food on the steam tables that was not yet part of my meal. There were still three kinds of beans that looked rather watery, at least six different vegetables, three sauces and two meats. Most of them, I realized, were going to be piled, one after the other, into the same bowl as the brown rice I just asked for. How could all of that, um, stuff, possibly taste good mixed together? And how soggy is that rice going to be?


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At Din Tai Fung, the Waiting is the Hardest Part

Categories: Review Reviews

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Photo by Dustin Ames
But oh, that magic feeling...

It was 7:30 on a Saturday night. I was in a line of people that stretched from Sears to the Carousel Court--spanning an entire wing of South Coast Plaza. From one end to the other, it would be a two-and-a-half-hour wait. But this was only half of it. At 4:30 p.m., I was in another line to put my name and cell number on a list so that someone could text me for the privilege of standing in this line. If it sounds as bad as the DMV, you're wrong--at least you can sit while waiting at the DMV.

This is Din Tai Fung, the first OC outpost of the Taiwanese-based chain famous for xiaolongbaos (a.k.a. juicy pork dumplings). And if you aren't in line trying to get some, you're wondering what the fuss is about.


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Yelp Sued By Shareholders For Lying About Suppressing Bad Reviews In Exchange For Cash

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A group of shareholders led by Joseph Curry have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Yelp in San Francisco, the SFGate blog reports.

The suit alleges that Yelp management lied to shareholders about the widely suspected but never officially proven tactic of charging businesses money to suppress negative reviews, and that they promoted non-first-hand positive reviews (i.e., shills) in order to bump up paying customers' ratings.

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Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 14

Categories: Review Reviews

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Welcome to another edition of the Red Pencil Diaries, where we sift through the litterbox that is everyone's favorite social review site to come up with the festering cat-turd reviews that lurk just below the surface.

Honestly, someone ought to invent a browser plug-in that searches for ellipses, misspellings, and phrases like "food poisoning" or "Now, if you know my mom..." and filters them out. The signal-to-noise ratio would skyrocket.

One can dream... in the meantime, here is this week's lot.

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Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 13

Categories: Review Reviews

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The other day, I read a Yelp review that was succinct, factually accurate, opined intelligently about the food at the restaurant, made cogent arguments why I should spend my hard-earned cash elsewhere, and didn't contain cutesy txt-speak.

Then I woke up, and resolved to do at least one more episode--lucky number 13--of the Red Pencil Diaries, wherein I plumb the illiterate, misinformed, entitled depths of America's most popular social restaurant review site.

Enjoy.

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The Poorman's OC '4 Under $6': Rating The OC Public Toilets

Categories: Review Reviews

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"When you have to go, you have to go". We've all been there, and, for sure, we'll all be there again. Nature calls, and you can't wait! You have to go to the bathroom, but you're not at home. Oh no! Where do you go? IT'S AN EMERGENCY! The answer is: You find the nearest public toilet (or risk an internal accident). What kind of public toilets can you expect?

In this week's The Poorman's OC '4 Under $6', I give you a sneak peak at ten OC Public Restrooms and rate them. Each restroom was visited just once. We utilize The Poorman's very own zero to five Poorstars sliding scale of inexpensive excellence, with five being the best. Ratings were based on cleanliness, smell, ambience, and the toilet/restroom itself on a normal day of operation. So, let's get started and take a look at public toilets of the OC!

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Behold Our Shiny New VoicePlaces.com Review and Listings Site!

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Here in Orange County, we're pretty known for our plastic surgery, injections of every sort and suctions of the lipo variety. And we here at the Weekly aren't immune to this practice--no, Gustavo hasn't gone and gotten Botox--as we've given Voice Places a facelift! You may be familiar with the site from such features as restaurant reviews, calendar picks and our Best Of selections.

But now we've added a bundle of more features like a pretty new design, tips from Foursquare, a national food blog, trending events and locations and improved photo galleries.

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Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 12

Categories: Review Reviews
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The Red Pencil Diaries return this week with five more reviews culled from the primordial grammatical muck that is Yelp Orange County. It's truly amazing what people will write and then attach their names to. You'd think that they'd realize that Yelp is social media like any other, that Yelp reviews sometimes show up in social media background checks for employment, and that proofreading is a valuable use of time when putting your public face out there. Read on... More »

Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 11

Categories: Review Reviews
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First of all, let's provide this paper's coverage of the much-maligned Reviewer Card, which you can hand to restaurant staff in order to inform them that they are under review by DouchebagNoshingDeliciously.blogspot.com or whatever your 7-pageviews-a-day food blog is called:

If you get one of these cards and intend to use it, please contact us before you do, so we can send a photographer to cover the ass-kicking you so richly deserve. Thanks.

Now, onto this week's Red Pencil Diaries.

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Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 10

Categories: Review Reviews
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Once, in a fit of creative madness while writing for this august publication, I wrote a review of the Viking Truck as a filk of the Völuspá, the Icelandic heroic saga. Our beleaguered editorial staff kindly let it through, and now when I read it, I feel like an adult looking back at a goofy candid picture from 9th grade chorus... what the hell were you thinking, Dave?

This was all I could think of as I combed through the Yelp reviews of Haven Gastropub, the Orange Circle's most beloved and, um, be-hated restaurant.

First, it seems like writing a review of Haven is a requirement of becoming a Yelp Elite, in the guidelines right next to "must give up anonymity and put picture of face up" and "must act like the Royal Family of Food Writing".

Second, Yelp attracts some really bizarre reviews. Not necessarily bad, just strange. They run the gamut from people who are obviously bored writing reviews to people who are clearly living in an alternate universe, unsullied by human reality.

So welcome, fair readers, to this week's all-Haven Gastropub edition of the Red Pencil Diaries.  More »

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