Sortuv is an alternative search engine that lets you search for associations of places based on your query. Instead of asking for an "expensive restaurant", you can be more precise by asking for similar places to the ones you already know: "Find me a place sortuv like Canlis in Chicago".
Sortuv has also recently created an interesting proof of concept to highlight their related search technology. They call it SocialDNA (second image). SocialDNA scans your facebook profile for "entities" (people, places, music, restaurants, etc.) and creates a map of those places and how they relate to other places you might like. It creates a visual map for what Sortuv labels as your SocialDNA Genome. You can also select other friends and see how their genomes map to yours.