"Lions, and tigeresses, and panda bears…oh my!" raved Jessica R, as she stepped into Yelp's Welcome to the Jungle affair at CityLine Event Center, joining nearly other 300 Yelp Elites and their guests for an evening of jungle-themed thrills, a blitz of local bites, lavish libations, and fierce entertainment. And not for nothing! The California Food & Justice Coalition joined the soiree to accept donations to help fund their efforts to promote the basic human right to healthy food, locally and nationwide. Now that's a cause us Yelpers can definitely get down with.
CityLine Event Center, a stunning bi-level space with exposed brick walls and plenty of space to jungle boogie, rolled out the red carpet (literally!) for Yelp Elites, as they funneled into the first floor where Doggy-Style Hot Dogs presented a table full of their infamous Asian fusion dogs, served in mini party-sized buns. The Doggyzilla Bratwurst with an Asian Slaw, Wasabi Mayo, Teriyaki Sauce, and Seaweed was "the best gourmet hot dogs" Lorissa W has ever tasted, while the "Pyro" Hot Link with Kimchi, Cucumbers, and Special Spicy Red Hot Mayo, set Diana V's mouth delightfully "on fire." Thankfully, St Francis Winery was nearby pouring two old-vine Zinfandels and a crisp Chardonnay to temper palates, while Honest Tea provided non-alcoholic refreshments for fans like Craig F, who loves "all their low calorie tasty teas."
No jungle is complete without a carnivorious feast, and Phat Matt's candied bacon-wrapped meatballs did the job. "I've only had glazed bacon served to me once before, by Emeril Lagasse's catering staff," cites Aaron M, concluding "Phat Matt's glazed bacon was better than Emeril's." Vegans and meat-freaks alike were appeased by the array of pies from Paxti's Pizza, while Cypress Grove Chevre provided creamy rounds of Humboldt Fog, Truffle Tremor, and Midnight Moon to pair perfectly with Freixenet's sparkling cava being poured in the 'bubble lounge'. East Bay intern Jocelyn B was "popping bottles of Freixenet Cordon Negro like a female Puff Daddy," Eugene L notes, while the Blue Angel martini bar was "serving the cutest and tastiest martinis, both Grapefruit and Classic with an Olive," leaving Diana V's fingers crossed that Blue Angel will show up at many more Yelp Elite Events.
Koo-koo for coconuts, John B posted up at Chocolatier Blue's table where a decadent Coconut Sorbet with Pineapple Caramel, "a delicious Vegan treat made more decadent with the addition of the roasted cocoa nibs," was being served by pastry chef, Danyelle Forte. He was also pleased to see ZICO coconut water offering healthy hydration, musing "this hangover remedy should be present at all events!" Speaking of hydration, a tall glass of milk was certainly in order for What the Cake?'s edible art, a three-tiered leopard print cake with mocha ganache, or as Meg T described it, "mouthwateringly delicious and probably my fave of the night."
Cheetah costumes and safari hats were aplenty, but for those who didn't have time to properly tousle themselves before heading to the Jungle, the Paul Mitchell School and Salon had an entourage of hair and make-up stylists in attendance, offering updos and glitzy makeovers for guests wanting to don a savage look for the night. Body paint artist extraordinaire, Jessica Yurash, put the finishing touches on guests with full on zebra stripes and tigeress whiskers. Stephanie M recalls, "I saw so many animal prints I thought I was going to see Fred Flinstone turn the corner for a moment!" Thankfully Oh Snap! Box Photo Booth was there to capture it all on take-home filmstrips.
Entertainment was abundant, with Prize's electro-pop orchestra creating a buzz downstairs, and Nina Sawant's mesmerizing aerial acrobatics from the second floor rafters, leaving John B speechless. "I truly felt that a grand Vegas performance was happening before my eyes. My jaw dropped a bit when we had a cozy front row seat for her eye-popping second act."
CityLine is "definitely THE new venue to have your next partaaaaay at," notes Stephanie M, while Markus N sums up Welcome to the Jungle as "one of the best events I've ever attended; perfect space, volume, attractions, diversions and vittles."
Explore more tales from the Jungle on the review page, and see if you can spot Tarzan in the photos from Photostudio29 on our Flickr page.
Hungry for our next Elite expedition,
East Bay Community Manager & Chimpanzee Charmer