last week, i somehow stumbled upon an opportunity to attend a launch party for a new transportation app called opoli. much like uber and lyft, with a few clicks on the app you can have a car pick you up and take you pretty much anywhere in the l.a. area. the difference here is that the drivers/service providers aren't actually opoli employees. they're all independently owned, and don't have to pay a commission (i was curious about how opoli actually makes money on this deal, and i guess the drivers pay a fee to be part of the service provider lineup).
the teen and i actually got to check out the service for ourselves. i mean, hey - you offer me a driver to take me somewhere for a shindig and bring me back home, i'm not gonna say no. and he was super prompt and very courteous.
there wasn't too much traffic, and it was nice to just relax and enjoy the ride. in what seemed like no time at all, we pulled up to the venue - tanzy restaurant, located in the iPic theater.
there was a photo op, but the teen wasn't feeling in the mood and i didn't want to do a solo, so we skipped it and went right inside. the restaurant looked like it was part of the "maleficent" set, heh.
we went up the escalator and found ourselves in a lounge area just outside the entrance to the movie theater. there were tray passed hors d'oeuvres and a bright green, super sweet sprite/lemonade concoction.
we sat there and chatted while we munched on our potato knishes and salmon tartare, and i pulled out my phone to peruse the app. since it had just launched that day, we hadn't been able to use it to reserve our car and so it was kind of fun to check it out and test it for user friendliness.
once you register and add a credit card to your account, you're good to go. all you have to do is plug in your pick-up and drop-off location information, enter an offer (there's a suggested dollar amount in there, and you can adjust it or leave it as is), and hit the button. the app alerts the service providers, who can then submit a bid which pops right up on your phone. you just pick one, your card gets charged, and you're good to go. super easy. you can either be picked up immediately or reserve a time, and that's it. i'm told that the price includes gratuity, but that an option to add more will be available soon.
as we waited for the event to start, we were joined by a fellow l.a.-area blogger, jessica gottlieb. she'd also gotten to test out the service, and i realized i'd brought zero business cards. oops. probably would've helped to have a few on hand, for the handful of people who asked me for my blog address. oh, well.
we entered the theater and found seats near the front to watch the presentation. iPic is one of those fancy schmancy theaters with comfy lounge chairs and dinner service, which i've always wanted to try but never have. maybe i'll drag the hub to the one in pasadena for a date night sometime soon. and it was a little chilly in there, so we totally took advantage of the fluffy blankets placed at every seat.
sam rubin, who's the entertainment reporter for ktla, one of our local tv stations, was there acting as the host of the launch party and whose recognizable voice provided the narration for the promo video we were shown.
along with founders rattan joea and bobby gibson, he gave us a bit of background on how the app came to be and how easy it is to use.
can you see us? we cracked up when we saw this picture, all snuggled in our blankies as we listened.
lunch time! the food was good, yo. kale salad and grilled steak and salmon and fingerling potatoes, oh my.
hey there, sam rubin. nice to meet you.
as we made our way out, we were each handed a little thank-you gift. we didn't open them till we got in the car, and were super excited when we opened the boxes to find opoli-branded external phone battery chargers. sweet!
oh, and i did get her to take a picture with me after all.
okay, so check it out - if you got to the end of this post AND you live in the l.a. area or plan to come out for a visit anytime soon, i've got something for you. if you're one of the first 20 people who leave a comment on this post and an e-mail address, i'll give you a promo code that'll get you a $50 credit with opoli. you can use it for date night, a ride home after some drunken debauchery, maybe you'll want to take me out to dinner. i don't know. it's totally up to you.
dinner is fun, though. i like food. and freebies. don't you?