These Insanely Surreal Short Videos Are Inspired by L.A.’s Greatest Restaurants

And you can find them on Yelp, of all places
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Yelp is great for a lot of things, like discovering a new falafel joint, or detailing the full itinerary of your night at Honeycut, or creating an account for the sole purpose of bashing now-closed Pasadena restaurant Margarita Jones for charging you $4 for a “Double Extra Margarita” when you expressly ordered a $2 regular margarita (not bitter at all). It’s also a prime outlet for shot-form absurdist comedy.

A few months back, actor/director duo Joe Cobden and Dave Green discovered that Yelp allows users to upload 12-second videos to restaurant pages. Naturally, the two began to use (and mainly abuse) the format to create surrealist tributes to their favorite L.A. restaurants. The weirdly high-production value videos involve stunt doubles, ambitious green-screening, archival footage, puppets, and at least one chicken suit. Their entire filmography is accessible via Instagram—with five of the most baffling installments below.

I. In which a man flees from a Howlin’ Ray’s chicken sandwich that is proportional in scale to the intensity of its flavor

A video posted by TOOTH PIX (@toothpix) on


II. In which a detective narrates a seedy and extremely brief noir set in Musso and Frank

A video posted by TOOTH PIX (@toothpix) on


III. In which Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo are a pair of hyper-masculine puppets

A video posted by TOOTH PIX (@toothpix) on


IV. In which a man consumes a bowl of Boiled Fish with Green Pepper Sauce at Chengdu Taste and literally bursts into flames

A video posted by TOOTH PIX (@toothpix) on


V. In which that Heat scene at Kate Mantilini (RIP) with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino is embellished with—well, let’s just say the sound of Pacino poking his finger into a moist pastrami sandwich will haunt you for the rest of your life

A video posted by TOOTH PIX (@toothpix) on

You’re hooked now. You know you are. And these five videos are only the beginning…


Thomas Harlander is a staff writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He recently wrote 14 Instagram Accounts That Capture the Beauty of Los Angeles

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