Event - Yelp's Downtown Disney Dine Around

I suppose I had become a Yelp Elite during a dry spell of events because I had only been to one event in Orange County for 2012 until just now. With a new (and obviously super cool) Community Manager, Yelp OC got a makeover with a barrage of what I've heard to be awesome events. I luckily made it in under Mr. Ryan's scrutiny to the Downtown Disney Dine Around, and man oh man did I feel spoiled! We were really elite that night.


Where to start? The location was the hip and happening UVA Bar in DTD which was closed off to just us (whoohoo for feeling like the 1%!). The food was just as hip and happening. In fact, right when I first walked in, I had a variety of alcoholic beverages thrown in my face (not literally...just available in every direction) so I opted for the Sexy Mamacita, a jalapeno and cucumber magarita of wildly spice-laden imbibing. Actually, it was good for my throat as I was under the influences of a cold. One free alcoholic drink is not enough so soon after, I snagged a blueberry mojito which quenched the fire in my throat. A glass of white wine soon followed - they did not stop making us all happy.


Let's then take a look at what other amazingness was all around. There was an enormous paella skillet at one of the booths and a million other tasty food stations. There was an ultra-fun Splendid Photo Studio Booth that I regretfully did not make it to. There were mounds upon artfully presented mounds of delicious foods from Catal, Naples, Tortilla Jo's, and Devilicious Donuts. The favorite at the table was the corncake slider with arepas (pork) atop. We were jonesing for it so badly after the first helping that one of UVA's managers (Mark) sent over a full platter. Star treatment! The service was phenomenal as we were catered to left and right with individual and table requests. Lamb sliders were succulent and perfect. The paella lent homey feel-good emotions. Croquettes produced pleasurable sounds from me as did the caprese skewers. The ravioli was mm-mm-good. Our table tried six - yes, count them, six - different donuts (red velvet, Oreo, maple bacon, Nutella, pumpkin spice, and peanut butter toffee), and ultimately came out liking the this-is-different-but-amazing bacon donut and the toffee best. Score points for these indulgent sweets!


The raffle at the end was a nice touch to the evening, and I highly commend Ryan for keeping everything on time with no visible hiccups. As an event planner, I know it gets hard sometimes to keep a crowd on a schedule and to make sure everything's working out for everyone but he did a fabulous job. I definitely had an elite-feeling time and greatly appreciated that there were charitable donations from this event to CHOC. Though I had already grabbed a whole bunch of Yelp swag, I also got a cool goody bag on my way out just for checking in. It had some lovely olive oil, some raunchily-shaped bottle of tequila, and a void where my special Patina group appetizer card was supposed to be! I guess that's what I get for opening my bag the next day but kudos to those who got a freebie card in their bags - that's such a great gesture from the restaurants. Fun times were had by all. I can't wait until the next event (though I suppose I literally can...and will have to...)!

Photography by Minerva Thai. More photos on Facebook.