When Yelp released its data-driven heat map two weeks ago, it acted as a visual confirmation of our most deeply held stereotypes about dining in L.A.: that Silver Lake is full of PBR-swilling hipsters, Westwood -- and to a lesser extent, the USC area -- is swimming with frat guys; and the heart of Hollywood is a tourist mecca and should be avoided at all costs. Available for 14 cities across North America and Europe, the Yelp map works by aggregating review keywords like "patio," "pricey" and "romantic" and geo-locating them based on frequency and concentration.
Photo: Anne Fishbein
For example, search for "cocktails" on the map and you'll find red heat spots densely surrounding Hollywood, West Hollywood and almost all of downtown L.A., revealing that bars and restaurants in those locations have garnered the most mentions of their cocktails in Yelp reviews (surprise, surprise!) Fittingly enough, those same neighborhoods also are among the priciest for dining, according to the Yelp map's heat indicators. Scroll down to Orange County, and you'll see a red heat indicator for "pricey" resting directly on top of Disneyland. The happiest place on Earth? More like the priciest place in Southern California, according to Yelpers.More »