Restaurant App Ness on OpenTable's Chopping Block
Ever wish you could tell which of the strip mall restaurants you drive past are actually the city's best food joints? There used to be an app for that. Ness Computing announced over the weekend that Ness its restaurant recommendation app and website, will shut down in one month.
When OpenTable purchased the company in February, the app's days were numbered. Now that number is known, since Ness revealed it will shut down on April 21. Current Ness users received a message with the option to export their profile data before the closing date. "In order to focus on bringing the Ness technology to OpenTable, the Ness app and website will be discontinued," the note read.
Angelenos may want to give the free app a spin before it goes dark, since Ness is particularly useful for diners overwhelmed by our city's 400-square-mile sprawl. A graphically well-designed app, Ness is better than its competitors at understanding neighborhoods in L.A. (looking at you, Yelp) and more successfully filters results by parameters such as time of day.
Loved the Korean BBQ you ate in Koreatown? Ness will suggest you try the satisfying iced noodle soup at Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun. Ness also tracks well-loved restaurants, so if you look for dinner suggestions in West Hollywood, you won't miss Traktir, currently ranked by the app as the most popular Russian spot in the area (and indeed some of the best Russian food in the city).
Ness makes connections between restaurants based on user reviews and personalized taste profiles with what the company calls a "likeness engine." OpenTable announced it plans to use the Ness technology, and the same Ness tech team, to improve the recommendation function on its own platform, among other development projects. In case the merged version never gets as good as the original, you can still try Ness for the remaining month via the iPhone app or Likesness.com to study up on local restaurants you're likely to love.
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