Recommendations from friend & family is good. Or referral from some trusted mechanic/shop, etc. But what can be interesting is you may have a good recommendation from these sources, then check Yelp and you can see mixed/bad reviews for the recommended shop.
Sadly in my area (South Bay Area, California) seems ridden with mediocre shops, none that seem to be quite outstanding.
Wonder if Angies List is any better. Anyone have tips on finding good repair shops if you are starting from ground zero (no recommendations, no idea where to go).