A Regular Family Went to Au Fudge and This is What Happened

Earlier this week my family and I were invited to attend a special movie screening of the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie in West Hollywood. Usually when someone invites me to drive to LA from South OC on weekday afternoon I have to give them a big nope. However, this screening was being held at the already infamous new Au Fudge restaurant. I had to go. (Disappointingly, we were not greeted at the door by chipmunks holding tiny muffins.)

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

What I knew about Au Fudge prior to going:
It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It may or may not serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

Since this was a last-minute invite, my personal stylist was unavailable and I didn’t have time to book a driver. So, I dressed everyone in their one nice outfit, and we piled into the minivan. Luckily, it was recently cleaned inside and out, so when we pulled up to the (complimentary, thank god) valet, garbage didn’t fall out of the minivan when the doors were opened. (Yes that is a thing that actually happened to me once. Okay, more than once.)

We didn’t tell the kids where we were going, aside from the fact that it was in LA and it would be fun. So naturally, they thought of all kinds of way more fun places we could have been going. I just kept driving and let them set themselves up for eventual disappointment that was going to happen when we showed up at a restaurant and not a theme park.

IMG_3247 (1)

When we finally arrived, about 2 and a half hours from the time we left the house, my seven year old saw the sign out front and yelled “OH YEAH A FUDGE FACTORY.” Once again I had to lay down the disappointment and let him know that it was just a restaurant and that I wasn’t sure they even had any fudge.

The valet situation was a bit of a nightmare, and while we were stopped in the road, where the valet had signaled us to stop, two parking enforcement officers rushed over to ticket our crappy 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan, ignoring the rest of the cars that were also in the way. Thanks, WeHo Parking Enforcement, you’re real swell! Anyway, kudos to the valet who stepped in and took care of that.

Once we were inside, we pretended that we didn’t feel really out of place. We checked in for the event and the kids were herded into the “Creativity Room” which had been set up as a makeshift movie theater. Normally, for $15 an hour (less than most of the entrees on the menu) you can check your child in, and they can explore all kinds of creative outlets while you get a nice buzz going. Today, it was just a big room to watch a movie in.

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

Todd Williamson / Getty Images

I tried to get my kids settled down on the floor with their popcorn that was served in a fancy pink Au Fudge paper bag, but I was in the way as usual and one of the au pairs kindly suggested that I just leave the room and let her do her job. Okay, she didn’t say those exact words but I think it was implied. But, I wasn’t in the mood to argue, so I headed to the bar because I love free drinks.

IMG_3279

The bar menu is exactly what I expected. A lot of thought was put into the names and descriptions of each $14 drink. You can order the low-calorie, MILF cocktail, with the tagline, “This yummy mummy needs her juice.” Or grab a “Jessica Rabbit’s Rabbit,” or an “Old Fashioned Fawn.” I went for “Claude’s Tonic,” which is described only as “Beefeater Gin. Mixwell Dandelion Tonic. Magic.” I think the “magic” is the fact that it is so strong that you only need a couple of drinks to forget about how ridiculously out of place you feel.

IMG_3256 (1)

IMG_3230

Two drinks in and I was feeling fantastic. I was brushing shoulders with some of the event’s celebrity guests. We talked about things like, where the bathroom was, and yes you can have that chair, and no I did not order that grilled cheese and soup, I’m not sure why the waiter placed it on the table next to me. I was fitting right in.

Whose grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Whose $16 grilled cheese is this anyway?!

Every so often, one of my kids would sneak out of the movie screening, or be walked out by an au pair when they wouldn’t sit still for five seconds. My kids not sitting still? Imagine that. Since the only way to get my kids to behave in public is to bribe them, we bought them all gum balls (they’re all natural!) and sent them back into the screening. I did peek in on them once or twice and it turns out they were getting talked to an awful lot.

IMG_3262 (1)

IMG_3263 (1)

IMG_3257

While the kids were getting scolded once again, the adults were enjoying passed apps. My expectations of the food were a bit low. I heard it was overpriced and mediocre. Perhaps they were just showing off for the event, but everything we tried was delicious. Tiny cheeseburgers, grilled cheese sandwiches cut into bars caprese salad on a toothpick, and the juiciest little chicken nuggets I’ve ever tasted. My husband said the sweet potato fries were the best he’s had in a long time. Suffice to say, we weren’t disappointed in the food we ate, but we also didn’t pay for it, so take that with a grain of salt.

IMG_3253 (1)

If you have older kids, they probably wouldn’t care about this place much at all. But, someone on the design team thought about that, and so they put some awesome arcade games in the back of the restaurant. In fact, my husband, the biggest kid of them all, spent most of the evening back there. There’s also a fortune telling game and a photo booth. Basically, if you are currently a teenager in the 1980’s, this is where you’d hang out when you visit Au Fudge.

IMG_3251 (1)

Au Fudge really loves itself. You’ll find the name of the restaurant all over the place. In the little market at the front of the restaurant, they sell Au Fudge tote bags, and even a book with the title.

IMG_3259 (1)

And guess what else I found in that little shop. A variety of actually reasonably priced treats including? Fudge. Now I had to tell my kid that I lied about them not even having it. Or, I could say nothing and hope he doesn’t notice. Spoiler alert: He didn’t notice.

IMG_3261 (1)

Aside from baked goods and refrigerated drinks, the little gift shop carried a random variety of other stuff. Products from celebrity BFF Jessica Alba’s Honest Company, candy, packaged snacks, Easter baskets, art kits, hats, dresses, and even jewelry that you can order off of the “Jewelry Menu.” That is a real thing that I did not make up.

IMG_3267 (1)

IMG_3269 (1)

What is a “Dessert Necklace?”

Even the bathroom was thoughtfully decorated. Like a chic farmer’s market bathroom or something.

IMG_3256

Since we weren’t actual paying customers, I suppose we didn’t get the full Au Fudge experience. But here’s what I learned while we were there:

It is a restaurant.
It’s owned by Jessica Biel.
It does serve fudge.
It is not for regular people like us.

If you’re into having a whimsical restaurant experience where you can leave your kids unattended for a little while and escape the perils of being rich and slightly famous, OR you want to pay too much for lunch while possibly running into rich and slightly famous people, Au Fudge is the place to go. If you’re a regular mom like me, it’s a fun experience to try once. If you just want to drink and let your kids run around, go to Chuck-e-cheese. It’s cheaper.

IMG_3266 (1)

The Alone Experience: A Vague Review

Disclaimer: Free tickets to this haunt were provided for review purposes. No other compensation was received.

Alone Experience

Last week, contributors Angela and Jen ventured into Hollywood to experience a haunt like no other. The Alone Experience is described on their website as “A fully immersive 45-minute walkthrough experience, which you enter alone. Your body will move and be moved through our space.” A mix of theater, horror, and art, it’s exactly what it claims to be – an experience.

the alone experience entrace

There isn’t much detail given, and that’s part of what makes this haunt so…haunting. If you look through the site you’ll find vague descriptions, and testimonials that don’t tell you much aside from how amazing of an experience it is.

The Alone Experience is located in a non-descript building on Seward street, off Santa Monica Blvd. It looks more like an office than a haunted house, but once you pass the doorman and enter the building, there is a distinctly creepy air to it.  Even the bathroom is creepy, lit only with red lighting.

IMG_7443

In the waiting room, you’ll sign the waiver, check your car keys in (they ask that you leave the rest of your belongings in your car), and watch and wait while others enter into darkness. As you wait for your turn, you’ll hear the occasional banging or screaming, but for the most part it’s pretty quiet, and if you came with friends, you’re free to chat until your turn comes.

Once your name is called and you enter the door, you’re enveloped in darkness and all alone. The combination of anticipation and incapacitation sets you on edge, where you’ll continue to remain for the rest of the experience. Inside you might be touched, guided, spoken to, not spoken to, given tasks, and/or left to fend for yourself until you reach the end.

IMG_7444

Angela’s thoughts: “If you like old SciFi Horror Movies you will love this haunt. It feels like a cross between a David Lynch movie and a choose-your-own-adventure book, except the choices are made for you.”

Jen’s thoughts: “The Alone Experience isn’t your typical haunted house. It’s surreal and full of creepy whimsy that will at times, literally have you crawling on your hands and knees.”

jen at alone

This isn’t a haunt where your being chased by a crazed killer through gory rooms and dark hallways. This is a haunt that will make you question your very character.

There are still tickets left for October 30th, and they’re currently discounted! If there’s any way you can make it to The Alone Experience this week, we highly recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.

Helpful Tip: Be sure to read the FAQ page. There’s a lot of important info there that you’re going to want to know.

 

If you visited The Alone Experience, leave your thoughts below!