Recently there has been a lot of brouhaha over parents taking their kids to restaurants. Any restaurant. Apparently we aren’t allowed to take them to fancy places, diners, or any business that serves food because people get upset if the kids actually act like kids. It seems everyone has forgotten what it’s like to be a child, or have no clue what it’s like to desperately need to get out of the house and have someone else cook a meal for you that doesn’t involve fries and chicken fingers. If only someone would create a place that was perfectly designed for parents to enjoy fine dining where kids are welcome and encouraged to be kids. But wait! Someone has.
Let me introduce you to Au Fudge, the whimsical and dreamy vision of Actress/Mom Jessica Biel, celebrity stylist Estee Stanley, children’s author Kimberly Muller, and Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop founder, chef Jonathan Rollo. I recently had the pleasure of having lunch here with The Fab Mom Jill Simonian and her sweet girls. Let me state for the record that I’m not a restaurant reviewer but I like to eat. And I love lunches with my girl. So now you get my honest, real mom review of Au Fudge. This kid-friendly restaurant is smack dab in the middle of a very posh part of West Hollywood, but don’t be intimidated by the location. Inside is a wonderland of French whimsy, eclectic trinkets, and delectable dishes designed with parents AND kids in mind.
When you first enter, there is a cute marketplace that has everything from barbecue sauces and rubs (I’m assuming JT’s influence here), to cookbooks, sweets, and souvenirs. And day-drinkers listen up! Au Fudge has a full bar with some very fun and sassy drink options. I opted for the iced tea when I went because I’m boring. Oh, and I was driving. Yeah that’s it. Some tips when ordering: get the charcuterie plate to start. You will cry happy tears of meat and cheese joy. And order the mac and cheese. It comes in a little piggy and your little one will love it! There was so much stuffed in that pig that we had leftovers for the next day. Win! There were also dishes like roasted chicken, salmon, french omelette, and lots of salad and sandwich options. Nothing I would say that sounds groundbreaking, but everything I tried was yummy. I was feeling brunchy so I ordered the BLT & egg, mayo, white cheddar, on ciabatta and it hit the spot. Big portion and tasty!
The restaurant also has a designated creative space where kids can play while you eat, or you can play with them. Just FYI that’s an extra $15 fee but it might be worth it if you want to eat your penne with vodka sauce without sharing. I have to admit that although this place caters to kids, you are definitely paying the price for the location, fancy flare and possible celebrity sightings. I saw Scott Foley seconds after walking in the door which was cool. So if that’s your goal then I say drop $20 on a burger and get your camera ready! Sandwiches range from $16-$22, and the entrées range from $15-$45. Add a playroom visit and a drink on top of that and your bill adds up quick. And they have some amazing deserts, including fudge ($14), that are worth trying. So pick and choose if you’re on a budget.
I don’t know that I would go to Au Fudge for a casual meal but definitely as a destination place for celebrations.Maybe when I’m a super rich and fabulous star I’ll go more. But for now this mama is happy to go on special occasions or to meet up with my fabulous mom friends. No matter how much I go, it’s definitely nice to know there’s a place where families are welcome, and kids are celebrated for being kids.
Au Fudge is located 9010 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, California. Reservations accepted at 424-288-4268 and online.