Google Hotpot challenges Yelp's restaurant rater

Yelp + Foursquare + Facebook = Google Hotpot

Yelp + Foursquare + Facebook = Google Hotpot

Google is getting into the restaurant rating biz, with its new launch of Hotpot, a sort of Yelp/Foursquare/Facebook mash-up linked to Google Places.

Google maps already aggregate ratings from other rating websites like Citysearch and OpenTable, but Hotpot is more personalized. It tailors its recommendations based on places that you, and others in your social network, have rated highly. (It's similar to Facebook Places, but instead of just "like"ing a place, the user can give a rating somewhere between Love and Hate.) After Yelp rejected Google's purchase offer last year, might this competing product be considered an act of revenge?

There's some pretty extensive setup involved--epic, actually, by today's ADD-driven standards--as you have to add friends individually, and they have to accept your request. But after you complete five ratings, Hotpot will start recommending places based on what you liked, Netflix-style.

Have you tried Hotpot yet? What do you think of its features?