Image: Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
On Sundays, we look back at the week that was on the website. We added a place to the recommended restaurant list and we posted two reviews. We also were amazed that a pizza picture did not catch fire on Instagram.
Mi Vida – The large Mexican spot on the Wharf is pretty good. Worth a visit if you are heading that way and looking for a fun, pleasing spot.
Baan Thai – Arguably the best Thai food in D.C., and no need to wait in a line.
Etto – Whole wheat pizza dough and great appetizers make the this place excellent.
Masa 14, which lost its way years ago, finally gave up the ghost. An Atlanta-based chain of tapas style food will go in, further Disney-fying 14th Street. Not to sound too “locals only” but there might be an upside. Along with Barcelona and the new (NYC-based) wine bar replacing Drafting Table, it might help congregate those undesirables into a handful of spots, so the rest of the street can be enjoyed.
Policy is also closing after a 10 year run. All the places that got financing before the crash and took out leases in 2008 or 2009 are facing the end of the leases, and consequently much higher rents. It is not a mere coincidence. Nor is the fact that it is large chains that have the capital that are taking over.
Finally, further evidence that Yelp is evil. The story of a Bay Area restaurant owner who got so fed up he started encouraging customers to leave one star reviews to upend the Yelp model. Amazingly, “a mere half-star difference in a restaurant’s rating could increase peak-hours foot traffic by as much as 19%.” Business owners are pushing back. There is a new documentary:
“This saga played out publicly a few weeks ago, with the release of Billion Dollar Bully, a long-anticipated documentary about this alleged extortion. In response to the film, Yelp purchased billiondollarbully.com and directed it to a landing page (yelp.com/extortion) categorically dispelling the claims.”
When a business has a page called “/extortion” it is not a good look.