For so many of us, Yelp has become an essential part of the routine when searching for new local restaurants. However, as the site has become increasingly noisy and unreliable, Taste Savant is aiming to eat Yelp’s lunch with the release of an iPhone app for its chef-curated restaurant review service.
Taste Savant turns away from the free-for-all that is crowdsourcing by taking a more exclusive approach. By acting as an aggregator for reviews from chefs, critics, food bloggers and your friends, it attempts to provide better information than you’d find from sites like Yelp. You can think of it more like a “Metacritic for food.”
In addition to reviews, the iPhone app includes OpenTablet and GrubHub Seamless for booking reservations and ordering delivery. Currently, Taste Savant is available to users in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.
Here in Los Angeles, Taste Savant doesn’t yet have enough user-generated data to make it useful for the everyday quick bites that I often scour Yelp and Foodspotting. However, I’d definitely appreciate Taste Savant’s critic aggregation for special meals where I’m more interested in what professionals think than the average citizen.
Taste Savant is off to an interesting start, but its design language feels dated and many of its listings lack sufficient data to make a decision. I’m not fully happy with Yelp either, but I’m going to wait for Taste Savant to gain more traction before I come back for seconds.