Month: June 2021

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Ozu East Kitchen – 1/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Ozu East Kitchen – 1/5 Stars

Ozu East Kitchen – CLOSED
$$ Ramen, Korean, Asian Fusion
3224 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039

I can’t stand a cheat. I complained and got a refund from Groupon after Ozu charged a 20% ‘Groupon service fee’ for using my Groupon here. Ozu – if you want to use Groupon’s advertising and get money from them, then you must be transparent and say that a 20% fee ($4.60 for a $23 meal) is going to be added in the terms. Or add the ‘service fee’ to the $12 for $20 deal you offered. I have used Groupon many, many a times and have never been greeted with a ‘service fee’ for using a Groupon before. If every business just added a ‘service fee’ for someone using Groupon, then it really wouldn’t be worth using, would it?

As for the food and place itself – it was pretty darn good. Pricey, but good. Clearly I would not have rated this place one star as I found it to be a pretty nice place and experience all in all. The employees are nice enough and the food came out fast.

The vegan ramen would have been pretty damn good if it wasn’t for their miso broth. The miso broth for the vegan ramen was incredibly bland, it tasted like a hot umami-flavored water, but its inhabitants were yummy. They had a delicious chili sauce that spiced it up a bit. While the tofu was crisp and delicious, I must agree with the other reviewers that the mushrooms take the cake here. They’re impeccably amazing. They are deliciously plump and have a great texture. The ramen still left me hungry after finishing it, but the portion seemed pretty decent. Not too big or not too small.

It’s located in a beautiful corner building with high ceilings and great minimalist furniture. They have a massive projector playing a sports game. The idea was cooler than its execution, since it was on mute and nobody in there at the time looked like the types that would be into watching a sporting game. But kudos for trying.

Useful: 10  Funny:Cool: 3


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: BoltBus – 3/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: BoltBus – 3/5 Stars

BoltBus – CLOSED
800 N Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

I am breaking this down to the actual bus experience versus the Groupon experience:


Bolt Bus has one of the most craptastic systems for redeeming the Groupon. You have to do A LOT of emailing and then a lot of inputting of data in order to redeem the Groupon. I felt like I was really working for that three dollars I saved. They will NOT redeem the Groupon with you over the phone.

Groupon was $21, roundtrip bus without Groupon was $24. They claim the rides are worth $80. I asked myself if it was worth saving $3 to do three or four days worth of work.

Their system for redeeming the Groupon is first to sign up for an account. Okay. Then email their rewards department and let them know that you purchased a Groupon and give them your account information for both Groupon and Bolt Bus. Okay. Don’t forget to email them the 6 or seven digit number from the coupon that’s in your Groupon folder. Okay. Then once the guy on the email gets back to you, it took him two days in my case, he will tell you that your account is credited two rides. Whew, done. Hooray!

NOT SO FAST! The Bolt Bus website is down. I was taken aback. A google search for Bolt Bus Los Angeles comes up with Mega Bus Los Angeles. Weird. I call to double-check they didn’t go out of business in the past 24 hours since I contacted them last. My fear is a business on Groupon unexpectedly going out of business without notice. It’s a legitimate fear, see horror stories (with snarky owner comments) on AQIYL Photography.

No, they’re still riding from Los Angeles. And whew, we’re only halfway done. The site should be back up in less than 12 hours. More instructions after he emails me back!

In order to get these rides credited, set up your bus ride then once you get your roundtrip set up, a popup box appears. Enter 0-0-2 on the bottom right of the popup box in the white form box and over the underscore, but only after clicking on the white form box twice. It won’t work if you click on the white box once because it needs to be input over the ___ underscore, not before it. I didn’t click on the white form box twice and typed in ‘002’ before the ___ underscore appeared. So stupidly, ‘002’ was not properly entered and I purchased another ticket. I had to call them to refund my card.

On the line was a really unfriendly guy speaking in a Southern/African American dialect. He said that I ‘dones’ it wrong and he will reverse the charge card and I would need to redo it. I asked if he could just redeem the Groupon from the phone. “No.” “Okay.” No response back. I waited for about ten or fifteen seconds to see if he would say something else. He didn’t. It was dead on the line. So I hung up. (Bolt Bus, you really should screen your calls or at least make your employees feel like they are!)

I entered ‘002’ over the literal ___ underscore on the white box after clicking on it. I’ve taken and taught Computer Science courses and this was one of the crappiest and least intuitive methods of inputting data I’ve seen on an actual running business. It reminded me of a goofy project that a 19-year-old undergrad Computer Science major who is just learning how to create a form would make in CS 1 to prove that he or she can make something interactive for credit. Type ‘002’ over random underscore to make a smiley face appear or else a frown will appear.


I am writing this review on the bus’ wifi right now. The bus is big, fat and shiny and located in the left-hand side of the front of Union Station. It is NOT located where the other busses are at the back. There is no sign, which is disconcerting, but I made a phone call and the lady said it was “across from the Mosaic Apartments on the flat parking lot.” What the hell are the Mosaic apartments? I walk around and see some large apartment complex to the left of Union Station. Ohhhh.

The bus, unlike Megabus, is one story, but the seats are larger and more comfy. The bus is incredibly clean. Like new, perhaps. (This company began running out of Los Angeles 6 months ago.) There are two outlets per seating section, the rest stop is 30 minutes and located in Avenal (not Kettleman City like MegaBus, booo) and consists of one boxed in shopping-gas station complex with a touristy gift shop/bodega, Subway and a taqueria. All in all, this bus is all I could ever ask for.

Sadly, this particular bus stops in San Jose, and then San Francisco, and then Oakland. That is a lot of stops, but there are maybe 20 people on this bus so I guess it would be silly to have a bus dedicated to the one goofball who claims he is going to San Jose.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 0


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Strommen – 4/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Strommen – 4/5 Stars

Tutoring Centers, Language Schools
3171 Los Feliz Blvd. Ste 314
Los Angeles, CA 90039

I really like the Spanish tutor I met from Strømmen. I’ve almost finished my twenty lesson package with him, which is a really good deal at around $30 per hour session. He is incredibly intense, respectful and helpful. I have subsequently enrolled at LACC and have been taking Spanish classes there. I have gotten an A in Spanish 3 because of him and am taking Spanish 4 now and am keeping up. I recommend taking their private tutoring with either a class or a project in mind because the level of intensity is on the students’ court. The hour of tutoring is on theirs.

Anyway, he’s exempt from the rest of this review!

What I don’t like is that I tried since 2016 to take one of the group intermediate/advanced Spanish conversation classes held around the corner from where I live in Los Feliz. They’re -always- booked or simply not offered. I contacted the teacher who was wrapping up the class at the time and told me he’d get back to me after he got back from Argentina and never did. It seems to me like the same people who’ve already taken the conversation course are given priority to enroll in this class over and over again and once it’s full, it’s full.

It’s a shame for them as I enrolled at LACC because of that. I am moving to Spain later this year hopefully. I am very afraid of not being able to speak at the caliber that I can with English. I don’t want to get by on small talk as I hate small talk in English. Lol. So I am trying to have these intellectually articulate conversations with words and ways of speaking that I have no idea how to translate into Spanish! I would shelve $$$ for a class like this due to my lack of confidence if I hadn’t discovered LACC basically offers Spanish conversation classes every semester that I can take for free as an LA resident.

They have a tiny office in Los Feliz/Atwater and they’re physically there. They respond back promptly. They’ve got some good tutors in my experience but they need to give priority to new people for the group conversation classes!

Useful: 12 Funny: 2 Cool: 2


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: El Adobe Market – 4/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: El Adobe Market – 4/5 Stars

El Adobe Market
$ Grocery, Beer, Wine & Spirits
5203 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

This awful bodega is iconic! El Adobe Market is the place most famously known as the location of the occult shop for The Craft in 1996. It was filmed at the shopping center and inside the space at the left of actual market (5205 Hollywood Blvd.) The spaces to the left of the market, the stairwell to secondary spaces all used to all be El Adobe Market back in the 1920s. Back then the central building where the current El Adobe Market is located didn’t exist but the peripheral building did. It was all called “El Adobe.”

The actual El Adobe Market building was built sometime later in the 1930s or 1940s. It offered a delicatessen/carniceria and panaderia/bakery. El Adobe Market is featured in this book about the history of drive-ins and supermarkets in early Los Angeles as being one of the first places to offer a commercial shopping center – a place where people can park their old-fashioned cars in the parking lot of the shopping center rather than on the street.

Sometime in the 1970s or 1980s – way before Fairuza Balk and Neve Campbell walked through the shopping center to the occult store on The Craft, this place was separated into a ton of other stores and private spaces. One of the spaces includes a recording studio dubbed “Hollywood’s only complete recording center” by the late founder and owner of Capitol Records Glenn Wallichs who made off-the-air test recordings of George Burns, Gracie Allen, Jack Benny and Bob Hope back in the day here. The recording studio and occult store were located where the stairwell leads to, but unfortunately it is all gated, closed off and covered and sadly left in a kind of derelict condition.

Honestly, when I saw The Craft the other day, the El Adobe Market shopping center looks virtually the same in 1996 as it does in 2016. El Adobe Market has at some point in the late 20th century gotten rid of their delicatessen and bakery and turned into just-another-bodega offering over-priced $3 bottles of water, lots of alcohol and run-of-the-mill AMPM types of snacks with no prices listed. I don’t blame those who give El Adobe Market one or two star reviews. This place is terrible and reminds me of a pit stop in Kettleman City en route to San Francisco! Unfortunately for me, I live 100 feet away from it and only ever go here if I’m out of laundry quarters to buy a popsicle and make change. It’s a shame that the owners don’t spruce it up or make those ceramic parking lot tiles shine as they once did in the 1930s (see pictures). But I appreciate that it offers an amazingly colorful 90-year-old history.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 7


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Dara Spa – 4/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Dara Spa – 4/5 Stars

Dara Spa
$$ Day Spas
4369 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029

What I loved about this place includes the time that they take to put into working on a massage. I believe most other places shave about 5-10 minutes from the hour massage, but not them. An hour’s massage being one hour is an understatement here! I think mine was closer to 80 minutes long. Don’t come here if crunched on time.

The guy who does massages here is legitimately good. His was one of the best massages I’ve ever gotten anywhere. They have a piece of paper, which you fill out check boxes; one section is how hard do you want the massage to be:

[ ] light pressure [ x ] medium pressure [ ] hard pressure (+$10)

Since hard pressure is a ten dollar charge, I chose medium. And I can’t imagine that massage having any harder pressure than I had gotten. He’s got a lot of stamina and really turned my body into a pretzel.

If it weren’t for the off-putting way in which I was able to get a massage, I would have given Dara Spa five stars. This was the first time I felt ‘Groupon shamed’ for presenting a Groupon! I know they’ve been on that site for a long time and I had basically gone to every other inexpensive massage place in the area except theirs.

For some weird reason when I came in saying I had a Groupon and asked about getting a massage, they quickly announced that there are no same day appointments available for those with Groupons. Why tell me that?! Just say there are no appointments available that day. I got huffy and said that ‘same day appointments not available’ was not on the Groupon terms but I made an appointment for the next day and left.

I was a block away on Heliotrope when the owner called me. She said that they’ll make a special exception with me and squeeze me in that day. I was the only person there. The owner oddly looked up the time of when I purchased the Groupon and then told me that I didn’t have to burden myself purchasing a Groupon right before I came in, as they would have given me the same price as the Groupon offer.

Well maybe your intrusiveness will work in the future because the massage was amazing BUT Groupon was offering a 25% off additional discount, so it was $26 instead of $35, which your investigation did not pan out.

Useful: 10  Funny:Cool: 3


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Sunset Marquis Hotel – 2/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Sunset Marquis Hotel – 2/5 Stars

Sunset Marquis
$$$ Hotels
1200 Alta Loma Rd
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Forty years ago – back when it was a divey Sunset Marquis with a dirty astroturf-surrounded pool, people took pictures of their hedonistic rock star friends passed out on their plastic patio furniture.

Sometime in the recent past, the folks who brought you heavily manicured gated apartment complexes purchased this hotel and gave it a kind of Floridian lawn in the jungle kind of vibe. IT IS REALLY FITTING FOR THE AREA! I mean – jesus – even with the lush green and secluded tropical plant-lined paths, you cannot really forget you are in drought-stricken Los Angeles. Look upwards into the sky and you’ll find high-rises under construction voraciously towering the nearby area. Maybe if everything withers away when the water runs out, and the two pools dry out, you’ll find the aura, a semblance, of the cool rock star hotel that the books found in each of the hotel rooms and the art gallery in front is trying to push about this dump.

When I was staying in the hotel with a friend, it was so air-conditioned and the grey cubicle kind of rooms that exude the near colorless gradient of the innards of an empty seashell gave me a kind of sobering headache. My friend kept pushing me to look at the book – look at the book! The heavy table book contained pictures of Joe Strummer, Joan Jett and Bob Marley in the 70s, back when this place seemed to hold a kind of edgy vibrance about it. It’s strange in a way because what’s cool about this place can only be found in ‘the book’ and in their art gallery. Everything else is now clean, hidden, pool and $6 toasted bagels at their breakfast place.

Useful: 10  Funny:Cool: 6


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Au Lac – 5/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Au Lac – 5/5 Stars

Au Lac
$$ Vietnamese, Vegan, Live/Raw Food
16563 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708

Au Lac is delicious, depending on what you eat here. I would argue the Vietnamese food, specifically their soy fish, is their specialty because it tastes outstanding.

The Spicy Soy Fish with Lemongrass is grilled and has a very soft consistency with the added spice. The lime and lemongrass seasonings worked really, really well with the food. I’ve never eaten a more plausible soy fish entree on its own before. The tofu and tomato soup with dill was very good but less hearty than what I expected from tomato soup. The broth isn’t thick, like most tomato soups I’m accustomed to.

The Chinese cuisine wanes in comparison. The Kung Pao Chicken was average at best. The chicken and the sauce are okay but it tastes as good as takeout at Stix. I wasn’t impressed at all. I’m honestly not even sure why I would order Chinese food at a predominantly Vietnamese restaurant. What can I say? I was naive.

Vegans beware: if you’re set on ordering spring rolls; or a few of the veggie chicken, beef, and seafood options here, you’ll be disappointed to learn they have whey. Although Au Lac has a delicious raw vegan menu, the actual vegetarian menu does not specifically list which “egg-free” foods aren’t vegan. This becomes difficult for strict vegans to choose when about 1/4 of the menu may have whey protein in it. In a histrionic way, that’s like stepping on a landmine if you innocently choose one of the 27 non-vegan options! Fortunately, the servers know which foods have what. Their online menu also lists which foods contain whey.

Useful:Funny:Cool: 5


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Robert Half – 1/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Robert Half – 1/5 Stars

Robert Half
Employment Agencies
865 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90017

This review is based on the response back: I didn’t get one. I submitted a form detailing my information to Robert Half Technology a month ago. I called them a few days later. A receptionist answered and directed me to a voicemail box with a number. I left a message.

I waited.

A week later, I get a generic email back, acknowledging a response. I called them a few days later. A receptionist answered again, the same one, and directed me to a voicemail box with the same number. “You’ve reached box 34567. Leave a message, beep.” I left a message.

I waited, am waiting.

Maybe I should be impressed that their voicemail box wasn’t full?

“So hi Robert Half. Yeah I have a grad school background and I got such a useless doctorate in a Computer Science department that I can’t even get a call back from any of you asswipes.”

Maybe Robert Half Technology should nix the voicemail to nowhere and staff more people internally rather than externally. A rejection is at least more respectable than a lack of one.

And the fucking voicemail: the voicemail to nowhere is pathetic, pathetic, PATHETIC! Besides, what an outdated mode of communication to impart for a sector that specializes in TECHNOLOGY, leave a voicemail – 34567 might get back to you.

Useful: 10  Funny:Cool: 2


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Monty’s Good Burger (and Owner Response) – 3/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Monty’s Good Burger (and Owner Response) – 3/5 Stars

Monty’s Good Burger
$$ Burgers, Vegan, Fast Food
516 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020

3.5 Stars!

The basic vegan burger was an incredible vegan burger but every fiber of my being can’t reconcile paying $11 for a burger that’s served by itself around a piece of paper. I’ve had vegan burgers from all over the world, and this is something I would expect paying $6-8 or perhaps barely more than $10 with fries or something else thrown in for the price tag. I came here expecting that it included the fries or tater tots. Oh no. God no! Those are $4 extra. (I was speechless looking at a $16 price tag with tax on the total!) I had a really awkward interaction with the guy who was putting in my order until I realized that I was the one who was being a completely confused entitled crazy person.

I have a hopeful feeling that a lot of the price goes to a living wage for all of the workers and it’s not just the pretension of the expensive quality ingredients of the lettuce, for example. But living wage or not, it’s NOT the living wager’s burger! If you’re not working at a cushy PR firm and willing to pay for it, it IS worth trying! What made this burger special was how the patty was so finely grilled and moist, and the cheese was gooey soft, that it tasted incredible around their soft potato bun. It was probably one of the ‘closest to the real thing’ type of vegan burgers I’ve ever tried that could be comparable to a good fast food restaurant’s burger. You have to have the technological innovation in fake meat preparation to get a patty to taste like this. And the one hopeful thing to me is that in five years, there will be a lot more (and cheaper) burgers like just like theirs. This is not to devalue this burger I enjoyed, however, because there is definitely a skill in grilling a burger to taste like this.

Finally, the sauce! I sort of did the Free Sauce Yelp Check-In wrong, and felt really embarrassed because I ended up getting a side sauce I probably wasn’t entitled to. I got to try the garlic aioli inside the burger and the ranch dressing as a ‘dip’ outside of it. I could hardly taste the garlic aioli at all inside of the burger and tasted no different than the ranch, which kind of bummed me out. So I am not sure if it was garlic aioli that was put into the burger. Or if I was confused yet again. And I am taking into consideration that this garlic aioli is apparently a house favorite according to the guy who I was talking to. So I was hoping for a punch of garlic. Nevertheless, if there is a next time, I need to not be confused and get more garlic aioli sauce.

Useful: 15  Funny:Cool: 6


Owner Response:


Im sorry about your lackluster experience at Monty’s. I assure you that your review and thoughts are very meaningful to us.

First off, send me your email address so I can refund your money through PayPal. We do not want anyone to be unsatisfied with the food, service or concept.

Pricing…. we know it’s expensive. It’s by design. We start our staff at $15/hour, use only compostable products and source our produce within 30 miles. Except for the cookies that come from Phoenix. The impossible patties cost 6x any other vegan option. Although you may know of and like other products more, we have specifically chosen Impossible based on the alignment of our mission to get meat eaters to consume less real meat.
We absolutely know that the pricing is not for everyone. As the impossle pricing comes down, we will adjust accordingly. But for now, our costs are extremely high.

These are not excuses or reason to say that your opinion doesn’t matter. It matters and we listen and learn from every review we read.

Again, I’m sorry you had a bad experience and hope this info gives you a bit more background.

Thank you for reading,


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Turo (Formerly RelayRides) 2/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Turo (Formerly RelayRides) 2/5 Stars

Turo (Formerly RelayRides)
Car Rental, Car Share Services
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Relay Rides is great if you’re looking for a long-term car rental. But beware! They’re less enthusiastic about short-term car rentals.

I live a half-mile radius (Hollywood/Western) of 15 cars that require at least 5 days for car rentals and there is no way to filter this annoyance out through the app. Basically I live near a couple of douchey people who make a living by offering ‘their’ fleet of Priuses for a minimum of 5 to 7 days. Once again, there is absolutely NO way to filter these asshats out through the search function on the app. So if you want to connect to renters who offer only day rentals, like going to Laguna from Los Angeles for a day excursion, happy weeding.

I emailed RelayRides about it and their customer support person Wendy writes back to me a confusing sentence with grammatical and spelling errors after an automated “Thank you for contacting RelayRides!”:

“many of the vehicles listed the owner’s do not have a minimum time that you would need to rent the vehicle.”

So great, I take the time to write to customer support and they basically dismiss my message in broken English and tell me that no there are many short-term options. Not helpful. I doubt they forwarded this message I sent to management after I asked them to, so I’ll use Yelp and write it in caps lock:

PLEASE CREATE A FILTER FOR FINDING SHORT-TERM RENTALS ON THE APP! There is an option for finding long-term car rentals. Why not short-term car rentals?

Useful: 11  Funny:Cool: 2


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Revolution Books/Libros Revolucion – 3/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Revolution Books/Libros Revolucion – 3/5 Stars

Revolution Books/Libros Revolucion – CLOSED
$ Bookstores
220 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

My experience with Revolution Books was strange. I appreciate the aim of this place but the damn emphasis on some dude I have never heard of before, apparently a leader and speaker for the ‘Revolutionary Communist Party’ named Bob Avakian, is too ‘dear leader’ for me. I assume he must fund this bookstore/info shop, which offers a scant (mildly put) selection of critical books; it is not an Adorno or Jameson kind of bookstore.

I walk in, having passed this place on my bike hundreds of times, and am greeted and go towards the right, which includes maybe five bookcases of shelves. Very empty. Although I’m impressed that they dedicate about one of these shelves to Spanish speakers in a patronizing ‘good for them’ white person kind of way, there was nothing I found interesting. They have a lot of Margaret Atwood books and have a critical Handmaid’s Tail reading group, which made my partner extremely excited to hear about.

One of the two wimmin (I’m trying to sound earnest) who were standing in front, asked me if I heard about this film screening they apparently sponsored the other night. I said I didn’t. She said ‘oh, you must listen to Bob Avakian speak!’ Um, okay. She guided me to a DVD player with headphones connected to it. It was sitting isolated in the middle of the room. She asked me which section of this Bob Avakian speech collection I would like to listen to. I chose #3, which I can’t remember what it was about now but apparently that DVD was lost. Um, okay. So I chose #5.

I nearly died inside as they were standing there watching me as I watched this DVD film of him speak. I don’t remember anything he said but he certainly was a fluid sounding speaker and I’m certain he made good points. But I was still in the fog of having come back from the Hollywood Farmers Market and not totally ready to take anything in. And they were fucking looking at me as I watched this.

I took the headphones off. They then, still facing me, stood next to each other and asked me about what I thought of the film. I think they wanted me to say something about how outraged I am about the state of affairs of this country. I didn’t want them to probe me so I mustered up something about having never heard of Bob Avakian. ‘Interesting’ was interjected somewhere in my comments. I signed up for their mailing list and gave them a dollar for their newsletter and left.

Apparently when you sign up for a list, they sign you up on MULTIPLE lists. I was signed up for a magazine and their general email, which they only send you two or three emails a day for. Oh, and if you give them your number, they WILL call you! If you find phone calls from strangers intrusive, do not leave your number! I repeat: do NOT leave your number! But if you love personal phone calls from numbers you are not familiar with, then please by all means leave your number here!

About two weeks later, I received a personal call from them. I didn’t answer it and they left a voicemail about a revolution BBQ. Hello Chris. We are holding an event, donation is such and such. Bring your friends. Two weeks after that, I get another call from them: Hello Chris. We hope you are appalled as we are about the ATROCITY (impressive emphasis) of Trevon Martin’s court ruling. Please call us back if you agree.

Oh, I agree. But I am not calling back.

Useful: 10  Funny:Cool: 2


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop – 2/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop – 2/5 Stars

Sweeney Todd’s Barber Shop
$$ Barbers
4639 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

I got a haircut here over a year ago. The experience here still sort of pinches my memory.

First, the idea of a half-century old barber shop is so cute. Big old-fashioned chairs and tables and men with conservative short brown haircuts line this store. If men with short brown haircuts are having homosexual sex with each other here, it is behind the backdoor where the door is kept closed and never spoken about or mentioned again. Aw, 1950s.

That’s where it ends. It took me almost an hour to get my haircut. Not because it was particularly busy, but because the guy who chose to do my hair decided to take a long break after seating me in the chair. After telling me to get up on the chair, he went outside to take a call on his cell phone. It took him five minutes to do this. He came back inside and saw that the garbage needed to be taken out, so he did this and was gone again, for almost another ten minutes. Maybe he WAS having homosexual sex. Before he even came back, a guy who was seated in another barber chair after me was already finished with his haircut by another guy who took him and left.

I felt like I was having a sit-in without being black. I was almost about to get up from the chair and leave when he finally came in. Okay, yeah, I should NOT ask for point-cutting or razor cutting in a 1940s/1950s-style barber shop so I didn’t. I described to him what I wanted as if I was role-playing being Jack Kerouac at a barber shop or something. But it felt more lame than cool.

He said, “I’m gonna give you some jags.”

“Jags” seemed to describe exactly what I wanted without saying something gay and modern like point-cutting. He took the scissors, swooped them upwards into my bangs, four or five times. He cut my hair efficiently fast. I was done in no time, certainly in less time than having waited in the big barber chair.

All in all, I’m glad I had the experience of coming here than the experience in itself. I believe the 1950s is best left in the 1950s. It is a very niche barber shop for the conservative-haired man!

Useful: 11  Funny:Cool: 0


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Health Net – 1/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Health Net – 1/5 Stars

Health Net
21281 Burbank Blvd
Woodland Hills, CA 91367

It’s like this, you sign up for poor people health care. They have two options to which insures your poor person health care: Health Net or the LA one. They both don’t sound great but Health Net seems to have more closer options. Fine. I signed up. It was easy, and I received a welcome letter from Health Net.

Somehow a few months after that – I find a ton of Health Net advertisements. Like, almost as regularly as seeing ‘Got Milk?’ was in the 90s. Instead of getting better doctors or making healthcare more affordable, the money being sent to them is helping make home video fails (guy falling off trampoline) for their YouTube ‘when accidents happen, Heath Net is on your side!’ advertisements. Or the old-fashioned way – plastered advertisements at every bus stop from Santa Monica to Sunset in Los Angeles. This has been throughout the year.

So my questions are:

Why are you advertising?
Where are you getting all of this advertising money from?
Could this advertising money made a difference to thousands of people if you didn’t spend it on advertising a video of a guy falling off a trampoline?

This is insane ostentation. I feel like I should have stuck to the LA option if money that’s supposed to be going for my healthcare is being funneled out to make stupid advertisements. Perhaps in a more nicely Republican way – the generous CEOS are allowing for a reduction in their yearly raises to fund these cute advertisements for great healthcare insurance. I mean it’s not like there are a plethora of options for health care insurance for people like me – two checkboxes.

It’s a disgusting display of how much money Health Net – and more broadly insurance companies – have on their hands to throw around. I honestly hope to see them shut down within my lifetime.

Useful: 14  Funny:Cool: 2


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Los Angeles LGBT Center – 2/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Los Angeles LGBT Center – 2/5 Stars

Los Angeles LGBT Center
Community Service/Non-Profit
1625 Schrader Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

The LGBT Center is exploding with bureaucracy. They seem to hire people just to further cloud up the gray-areas between departments. If I can give one helpful tip, it is to know your doctor’s email address. It will be the letter of their first name followed by their last name It will save you from A LOT of bureaucratic nonsense from reception.

I once had to get a signature from my doctor who knew I was coming back from the prior day. I went to reception who said it was impossible to get since I didn’t have an appointment and they can’t accept documents or put them into the doctor’s mailbox. But “I can set you up with a social worker next Tuesday.” WTF. I went online to find out what my doctor’s email address was and they got back to me within ten minutes. I had to go around reception and hand it off.

If you don’t email but need to get in contact without an appointment, good luck. You’ve got to deal with a reception staff who will be as helpful as bouncers at a busy Hollywood nightclub. It seems that the LGBT Center management encourages them to practice a kind of TSA-style fascism and treat everyone as if they’re broke junkies who change home addresses by the night and are looking for free drugs from the benevolent LGBT Center. If you can’t wait for a doctor’s appointment in two months, you can get an appointment with a social worker in one week! Yay. The line is slow because they are required to ask for your full address, name, and date of birth every time you see one of them. Every appointment takes a month to few months to get. If you have an appointment that requires a follow-up, you will be asked the same questions before and after that appointment.

Just last week I was here trying to check in at 9am. I had to wait for the receptionist to finish with a patient’s long request to check me in. About ten minutes into it, the transwoman who sits all the way to the left comes in. She stands up from her desk and looks at me, so I walk over.


(Another five minutes later. Line literally grew from just me to 20 people while she just sat there.)

Dude with a desk: (Opens door and walks out of adjacent office.) Follow me.

Me: Hi, I just want to check in.

Dude with a desk: SIT DOWN. What is your address?

Me: 5217 Hollywood Blvd. I just want to check in.

Dude with a desk: (Ignores request.) What is your last name? Is this your first time here?

My sister worked as a receptionist for a medical center and once told me that reception marks your chart indicating if the patient is a troublemaker. I probably have a ton of marks on my damn chart because I have the misfortune of having trouble on every floor with TSA-like reception and staff. I can’t help it. I mentioned Floor 3’s reception. Ground Level – A pharmacy receptionist, an older hispanic woman, just in this past week rejected my signature because my signature “looks too much like a line” after the credit card machine prompted me if I want any help. No. Just in case if I changed my mind, she yells, “PHARMACIST!” “Hi, do you have any questions?” No. Floor 4 – A year ago, a receptionist flipped out because I knocked on the window after she looked at me waiting to check in, only to physically turn around to finish her conversation about what she was going to have for lunch with her coworker.

My partner’s appointment was cancelled because the LGBT Center had a power failure in their building and he was scheduled for a financial screening. While management sits with their hands on their butt, reception staff have no other protocol than to act as if it was his fault and he cancelled that appointment. Reception told him that his only option was to come in the morning and be on call, otherwise rescheduling will take months.

The departments don’t have access to each others’ files so you have to fill out all your info separately for each department. Rather than centralizing information, like with iPads, everything runs through 1990s Filemaker-like programs. Each department has their own server and only have access to their own set of files. Nobody from any department has any idea what the other department is up to so they yoyo you back to reception. If you need a job, management loves hiring new people to take care of what they don’t know. This place is too big for its own good and it would run way more efficiently with self check-in iPads and a centralized database.

All in all:

  1. RECEPTION SUCKS HERE! LGBT Center needs an easier way for people checking in, scheduling appointments and updating personal info. Once again get iPads instead of more staff and create a centralized database. Concentrate on those who need help getting in contact with their doctors instead of interrogating everyone before they check in.
  2. Need departments to communicate with each other.
  3. Need to take responsibility for canceling appointments.
  4. Fucking transparency and less bureaucracy.

Useful: 12  Funny:Cool: 3


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Daily Donuts – 2/5 Stars

Chris G’s Best Yelp Reviews: Daily Donuts – 2/5 Stars

Daily Donuts
$ Donuts
1908 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

For anyone referencing vegan donuts in LA – the donuts here are not vegan and never were vegan!

When I did a search for vegan donuts, this place kept appearing because ‘A T.’ wrote a review in 2011 claiming that the glaze donuts are vegan because they don’t use egg in them. Apparently that is untrue – one of the workers flatly told me this week that the mix they use for all of the donuts is the same and already has egg in them.

I would have loved giving myself an excuse for biking up that hill to get here but they’re not just sugar and oil! I am not sure why s/he didn’t get sick from eating donuts with dairy in them, but don’t use that as a litmus test for judging the ingredients!

The place itself is low-key, kind of attractive yet grimy greasy spoon quality about it.

Read my lips:

Useful: 19 Funny: 2 Cool: 2


Posted by Chris Girard in Yelp
RIP Most Useful, Most Funny, and Most Cool Yelp reviews 2008-2018

RIP Most Useful, Most Funny, and Most Cool Yelp reviews 2008-2018

RIP Most Useful, Most Funny, and Most Cool Yelp reviews 2008-2018

I almost had my Black Elite 10-year anniversary badge… I didn’t make it. It’s so difficult to maintain a long-term relationship with something that you have to give more than you receive in return.

Being an Elite, then Gold Elite, almost a Black Elite, for the course of 12 years made me realize that I should be getting money for writing.

I was upset that as the years of my elite-hood progressed into the late 2010s, I would get accepted less and less for the social invitations that I RSVP’ed to. When I was first Elite in 2008, I could go to everything and get free sake mugs too. By 2012, I was going to parties and dinners all over Los Angeles. I got full-course vegan dinners and alcoholic beverages at swanky bars. By 2016-2017, I received no response to half of the Elite invitations I tried to go to. Katie Burbank, who was the manager at the time, would prioritize the novelty of newness (new members) over the novelty of a sardonic Yelp review. Most of that Yelp from the lowly red Elites was saccharine crap. Then I stopped with Yelp and decided to take over my own Yelp and host my own reviews.

There was a social aspect to Yelp that wasn’t great. I never made a friend from Yelp -outside- of Yelp. It wasn’t really a way to produce social overtures like social media and dating sites could be. You would chat with people by leaving notes next to the “You’re Hot,” “You’re Cool” and “You’re Funny” compliments back and forth. There was nothing that really held Yelp friends together besides the sharing of funny reviews we wrote.

I remember part of my journey with Yelp was presenting it at UC Santa Cruz, which was incredibly fun. Not. It was criticized by these asshole white Marxists at UC Santa Cruz as propagating the fetish to consumerism. A lot of my day-to-day experiences are going out to businesses and it’s a way I can remember parts of my life beyond the great or crappy food or um ambience.

Best Five-Star Yelp Reviews