LA with 19 of the Yelp Top 100 restaurants of 2018

I find Yelp helpful - not for their reviews, lists, awards, events, or ratings - but specifically for users’ pictures of the menu, food, interior/exterior, and health inspection ratings (when available). Also, when I’m in a crunch and am looking for somewhere nearby, the restaurant map is helpful to see what’s open / what will be open at _:__. It’s really about the 411 for me to make my own practical decision of where I want to eat on short notice. It’s also helpful for seeing what bars might be around after dinner somewhere.

I ignore the reviews and largely the ratings (especially with non-American foods).


Even a totally off-base review by an ignorant person can be useful if they mention a particular obscure dish I’m looking for.

If the review is off-base and the reviewer is ignorant, why would you find their opinion on that dish useful? Or, do you mean they’re helpful only insofar as they simply confirm the dish’s existence? I tend to just look at pictures of the menu because lots of reviewers get dishes wrong.

The star ratings are useless because so many people have their own agendas. Here are some quotes from one-star reviews of Pizzeria Mozza:

“Drove 45 minutes to eat lunch with my family and was turned away because I have a companion dog.”

– If you think it’s appropriate to bring your “companion dog” to Pizzeria Mozza you should be banned from all restaurants as far as I’m concerned.

“My son is 5 years old doesn’t like the pizza it’s all.”

– Just LOL

“I hoped I would have been transported to a pizzeria in Sangeovese, that i loved but I shall never revisit this place again.”

– It’s unfortunate that the pizza doesn’t taste like that in a non-existent place named after a misspelled wine grape.

“I’ll be honest. I never even made it here, I never will and I’ll tell you why… I asked if I could bring my birthday cake in and they said they would allow it for $8 a slice/person.”

– What nerve not to allow people to bring their own food, give them a place to eat it, serve it to them, and handle the dishes for free.


It’s useful to the extent that I now know not to ask to bring outside birthday cake to Mozza. Cuz $8/slice is crazy.

I don’t think it’s crazy. It seems very reasonable to me. People eating cake are taking up a table (and probably for much longer than people eating butterscotch budino). And they still need to be served just like people eating butterscotch budino. In my mind, it makes sense for a restaurant to charge about what a dessert off the menu costs.

At any rate, my point is that because the star ratings aren’t all about food, or even mostly about food, they aren’t useful. The write-ups can be useful. The photos are super-useful.

It’s crazy relative to the other places that will do it for far less than $8/person. Would you pay $8/person for corkage? Cuz that’s basically the equivelent here IMO.

At any rate, my point is that because the star ratings aren’t all about food, or even mostly about food, they aren’t useful. The write-ups can be useful. The photos are super-useful.

Except going out to eat is so much more than just the food. I certainly care if a place is technically excellent but operated by douchbags. Maybe you don’t.

Another example: howling rays reviewed on food alone should be 4-5*. But praise every reviewer who mentions the atrocious line or actually knocks down the place for said line. Cuz f that line, and people should be warned about that line.

Exactly. People whose opinions I ignore may provide useful facts. Even ignorant complaints can provide useful information.

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wasn’t trying to say it isn’t useful, but the reviews and ratings are a scam.
I use it for the same reasons.

The reviews vary wildly. The ratings aren’t much use except if a place has three stars or less after a significant nimber of reviews there’s usually something wrong.

I’ll use it for the photos also and hopefully a link so I can see their menu.

Yelp menu links often point to something other than the menu on the restaurant’s web site, when there is one.

Oh, thanks. I assumed if they didn’t give one then there isn’t one. Shame on me.