It’s here! March 4th heralded the long-awaited opening of “Au Fudge,” actress Jessica Biel’s new family-friendly restaurant in West Hollywood. This charming restaurant and destination extraordinaire welcomes anyone and everyone, small to tall, in need of a lot of fun, a little whimsy, and a fabulous meal. With (supervised) play spaces for tots of all ages and drinks (hello, Mo Momma and low-cal MILF) for big people, this oasis is as dreamy as the chocolate delight it’s named for.
Sleek, Stylish & Kid Welcoming: The Parenting Holy Trinity
Au Fudge (pronounced “Oh Fudge”) is the love child of a collection of talented and enthusiastic parents, including actress and new mom Jessica Biel and Red Tricycle’s favorite stylist to the stars, Estee Stanley, who craved something more in a family restaurant—actually a lot more! Too many spots are adult restaurants with crayons for kids, or kid zoos where parents can’t relax. Au Fudge was designed for children of all ages and adults, with the intention of being a home away from home. If your home is in the Hamptons, has a full time chef and wooden, Waldorf approved toys.
The shimmering result of their vision is Au Fudge, a stylish venue à la Shabby Chic, chock full of old-world charm, boasting high-end natural food and appealing to everyone’s child-like flights of fancy. You can meet a child-free friend here without apologizing for dragging them to a kid war-zone, and you can also bring your young rapscallions without fear of scandalizing the other patrons. In other words, it’s kind of the spot you’ve been waiting for.
B,L & D, Plus Cocktails and Gifts
Tucked away tony Melrose Ave., Au Fudge’s illuminated sign and whitewashed storefront looks like Main Street, USA. The interior of the restaurant is light and bright with hardwood floors, lots of windows, and huge bouquets of fresh flowers. Au Fudge offers “The Marketplace” at the front entrance where locals and families can mosey in for a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and a freshly baked item from the bakery. If you need a quick gift for a friend or just a little treat for your little darling, there is an inviting selection of old fashioned candies, packaged biscuits, jewelry, books, hats, and lots of fun, eclectic choices.
From Vegan to Steak to Kid-pealingly Cute
Once you’re seated at your table, you’ll see that the words on everyone’s lips are organic, farm-to-table, and sustainable. There’s something to appeal to vegans and carnivores and everything in between. Chef James King has created a beautiful menu for both the young and the young at heart without ever resorting to the typical “Kids’ Menu” fare of chicken nuggets or mac and cheese.
Perennial kid favorites are presented with a twist, such as a Truffle Grilled Cheese sandwich, that will introduce kids to high-end cuisine delights in non-scary format. There’s also parent-pleasing fare such as Grilled Salmon with Baby Squash and Citrus. And no one will be able to resist the fresh heirloom Tomato and creamy Burrata Salad or the tangy grilled asparagus. The items on the menu change with the season and with the availability of locally grown organic produce.
Where the MILF is Low-Cal and The Little Prince Divine
It’s not fast food, so it’s also not fast food prices. Menu items start at $8 for the Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich and go up to $45 for the Steak Frites. The menu includes appetizers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and hot entrees and everything is organic, all-natural and certified EMA Green. The fact that mom and dad can also enjoy a well-made cocktail or sparkling glass of fine champagne from the impressive wine list is icing on the cake.
If your kids are all about dessert, they definitely won’t be disappointed. The Big Berry Mess served in a cute pink ceramic pig is a yummy take on the classic Eton Mess with sweet chunks of fresh berries, organic cream and crunchy meringue. And the Churro Sliders with creamy vanilla ice cream are pure bliss if you like sweet, crispy fried dough bathed in cinnamon sugar and cream. Yep. Sip your champers while they crunch a churro. You’re all going to like this place.
Made to Fit
Au Fudge is bigl The indoor/outdoor spot has 4200 square feet of space and you can choose to sit out on the cheerful patio under the quirky white tree house or in the elegant main dining room. The attention to detail at Au Fudge is impressive. From the vintage glassware to the adorable custom plates and cheeseboards, it is a mix of old meets new, presented with class. And everything (but everything) is sized for those big and small.
Plenty O’ Playspace
And we haven’t even gotten to the main attraction! A spiral staircase leads up to a quaint room with plenty of windows and fluffy cushions so kids dine and dash up here to play. Or occupy themselves while you wait for a table or food…
A fantastic sliding bookcase filled with unique educational toys has a secret door that links two spacious playrooms with soaring ceilings. Nursing moms will feel right at home with their wee ones snuggled into the bountiful cushions of the soft couches and away from the hustle bustle of the dining areas. Even the bathrooms are charming. With lots of space, efficient changing tables, and mini-toilets for the kiddos, every detail is presented with a wink and a nod.
Since Au Fudge is stroller friendly, parents park their strollers right next to their tables in the dining room and enjoy a gourmet meal while their toddlers enjoy supervised play in the tot room and their big brothers and sisters settle into cozy nooks for some reading or coloring in the big kids’ room. Yep, supervised; you can really not worry while you sip and nibble. Professional au pairs are on hand to keep kids happily playing and well watched in a safe environment.
It’s Hollywood, So There’s Movie Night
The Creative Activity rooms can be opened up for private parties or dinners for kids and adults alike. Au Fudge provides the dynamic setting, stylish décor, play space and tasty cuisine while you simply supply the guests. Au Fudge also features weekly events like Movie Night and special activities and eclectic classes and workshops for both adults and kids. Check the website as they’re just getting started with the events and classes, and more will be added.
Coming and going is a snap, because they know you’ve got kiddos with you. Valet parking is available as well as a public parking lot across the street and metered street parking. The marketplace bakery and restaurant serves bakery goods and coffee in the am, lunch and dinner and even offers a late night menu and a weekend brunch. Au Fudge? Au boy!
9010 Melrose Ave.
Have you checked out this new celeb hot spot? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!