I cannot anamnesis anytime watching a distinct adventure of 7th Heaven in its entirety, although the appearance ran for 11 seasons. What do I apperceive about Jessica Biel?
Looking at her filmography, it turns out I’ve alone apparent one of Biel’s films all the way through and abominably that blur is Elizabethtown. (If I bethink correctly, she plays Orlando Bloom’s adherent who depression him afterwards he’s accursed from a fabulous shoe company. But I ability not bethink accurately because aristocrat of god that cine was abhorrent and I’m affronted that it lives in my memory.) This is all to say that I apperceive Jessica Biel mostly as a admirable added affiliated to Justin Timberlake, whose movies I’ve never seen.
But on March 7, 2016, that all changed. From now on, to me, Jessica Biel will be accepted as the woman who owns the restaurant in West Hollywood breadth I spent about $300 of Gawker Media’s money on caviar and altogether cake.
A chichi trend has emerged amid actresses who we’re apparently all accustomed with but can’t name a activity they’ve been in recently. These activating ladies are application their hiatuses from acting to alpha an array of questionably all-important affairs brands.
With her new restaurant, Au Fudge, Biel joins the army of domestic-y goddesses including Gwyneth Paltrow (Goop), Jessica Alba (the Honest Company), Blake Lively (Preserve) and Reese Witherspoon (Draper James).
Au Fudge opened to the accessible on March 4, and artlessly I acquainted accountable to visit. And, because I’m annihilation if not thorough, I should agenda that this is not my aboriginal Timberlake ancestors restaurant experience.
I don’t anamnesis bistro any absolute aliment at Justin Timberlake’s Manhattan restaurant, Southern Hospitality. I do, however, bethink accommodating in a advantageously antic accord breadth article like $25 bought you an accessible bar for a brace hours. I met up with accompany who were already accepting dinner, and for some acumen I was accustomed to aloof cycle up, pay $25 and accumulate drinking. The added I anticipate about it, it may accept been a bearings where, if you dined with a assertive cardinal of people, the accessible bar was some affectionate of bonus. I don’t know. It doesn’t absolutely matter.
The night led to us acclamation an abandoned amplitude auto from the Upper East Ancillary to the West Village for about $5 a head. For no absolute reason, this gave me aerial hopes for Timberlake’s wife’s aboriginal comestible venture.
Au Fudge, (pronounced by my waitress as “oh fudge” and not “aw fudge” as I had been adage in my head) is amid on a absolute fashionable bandage in West Hollywood on Melrose Avenue. Every meal I’ve anytime had in this breadth has been either aloof accomplished or actively bad and all were overpriced. Au Fudge is, afterwards all, aloof a chunk bandy abroad from Lisa Vanderpump’s SUR and Pump, restaurants with which I am carefully familiar.
The restaurant has been cheekily declared as a Soho House for kids, and although I didn’t apprehend about any associates options, I’m not abiding how one could alike accede signing up for such a affair afterwards acceptable such a apology of a apology that the absolute cosmos caves into itself beneath the weight.
Au Fudge calls itself a “Community Clubhouse” in its bio, and I admiration if they apprehend that their association is mostly comprised of gay bars, high-end boutiques and a Petco. A from Jessica Biel, conceivably the best notable affair about the restaurant is that it’s marketed as a abode for both kids and parents to enjoy—making it a agnate acquaintance to that promised by Chuck E. Cheese and bowling alleys that serve cocktails.
As it turns out, I do not accept any children, and I feel aberrant activity to a child-friendly restaurant by myself. So I allure the incomparable Jane Marie and her rather absolute babe Goldie to accompany me.
We access for our not decidedly contemporary but absolute child-friendly 5:30 p.m. catch a few account aboriginal and are arrive to browse the “marketplace” while the table is prepared. The market/cafe sells toys, candy, called broiled appurtenances (I’m about assertive the astronomic cakes are fake), coffee, diapers and Honest Aggregation products, because women acknowledging one another/cross-marketing is a admirable thing.
Our active albino hostess is adorned in a blush applique dress with an elaborately bizarre collar. The added hostess wears about the exact aforementioned dress. Afterwards I see one of them put on a long, rose gold-colored adornment jacket. They attending like Molly Ringwald in Appealing in Pink, which is absolutely a choice.
Somewhat oddly, our hostess asks if we’ll be defective a highchair which, yeah, I’m absolutely captivation a toddler and that’s about what they sit in unless Au Fudge happens to antecedent their appliance from a abundance specializing in kindergarten classroom decor.
The dining allowance is abnormally aphotic for a amplitude that’s characterized as a kid-friendly. Although, I accept that could be to accumulate the adults happy—compromise and such. A handsome bar sits in the aback of the allowance and I briefly dreamed of the army that rolls into Au Fudge on a Saturday night to arctic at that bar.
Curiously, there is a medium-sized television army on the coffer to the appropriate of the bar—meaning that in adjustment to watch TV, you’d accept to about-face your armchair alongside abroad from the bar and achievement that cipher is in advanced of you/to your right. That television is there either as a absinthian acknowledgment to stereotypically sports-loving fathers or because Justin Timberlake alone accepted it.
The amplitude is abate than I anticipation it would be—about 12 baby tables and one continued table in the center. There is additionally an alfresco patio. The adornment is bare chichi with a adumbration of a Southern sensibility. It feels like it was advised by Reese Witherspoon’s appearance in Candied Home Alabama. There are army active of blimp animals forth the walls, including a ample unicorn arch that Goldie credibility out about three times aural the aboriginal 10 account of us sitting down. It’s all absolute cute, afterwards actuality anytime cutesy or crafty.
Our waitress informs us that Au Fudge has an “award-winning cocktail program.” Jane credibility out that they aloof opened. I’m d she agency some guy who has won a cocktail accolade about abroad now works at Au Fudge, which agency that that account is accurate but not really. And, with Jax Taylor and Lisa Vanderpump’s bandage of blowzy minions slanging drinks bottomward the block at SUR and Pump, I achievement Au Fudge is accessible for some competition.
While we’re belief the menu, a woman at the table aing to us feels it is her assignment to explain to us simpletons how restaurants work. Afterwards any bidding or so abundant as a glance from our end, she leans over and begins answer how her son aloof loves milk and accolade afterwards school, which yes, I accept abounding accouchement do adore that aerial pairing. She picks up the bowl of accolade on her table and after-effects it appear us. Both Jane and I accept this is her way of alms the added accolade to Goldie. She does not.
The communicative woman in the striped boatneck top continues with a briefing of how restaurants go about application their customers. Well, you know, as continued as they accept a pasta bowl on the card the kitchen can aloof mix in some adulate and cheese and kids will absolutely eat that. I adjustment that for my son at restaurants all about town! Tonight my adolescent enjoyed a assemblage of pancakes because they accept those on the banquet menu, you see. What a concept! I’m batty with no faculty of boundaries! I’m answer how airheaded assignment to two developed women who did not ask for my ascribe on a distinct affair this planet has to offer!
I bet aggregate I own that striped boatneck top adult becomes a common Au Fudge patron.
Scanning the menu, it is both continued and not continued enough. Instead of a appointed children’s card they accept a “Petites” breadth with about four things a adolescent would appetite to eat.
I’m advertence the obvious, but you’ll apprehension that the card does not accommodate macaroni and cheese—quite possibly the best accepted kid-friendly bowl anytime created. What the hell affectionate of restaurant accouterment to accouchement doesn’t action mac and cheese? On top of that, Jane asked Goldie beforehand in the day what she capital for banquet and she said macaroni and cheese. Luckily Goldie has the brainy backbone to acclimate this disappointment. I anticipate she additionally forgot.
Goldie settles on the broiled cheese sticks instead. They additionally action truffled broiled cheese sticks—our waitress’ admired account on the menu—in case you’re the blazon of actuality who believes that a animal actuality who can’t alike apprehend yet deserves truffles.
Jane and I adjustment award-winning affair and the naan leash to start. Goldie sips on a $6 cup of milk.
West Hollywood loves a “clever” cocktail name. The card includes things like the Jessica’s Rabbit Rabbit, the Mo Mama and the MILF (Low-Cal), which is basically aloof a angular margarita. Jane orders a Black Manhattan, appropriate by our waitress afterwards Jane says she wants article with bourbon and not too sweet. I booty a ache at The Little Prince, which is declared application a adduce from The Little Prince—a tad prosaic, but I see what they’re activity for.
“It is such a abstruse place, the acreage of tears.”
Bourbon. Lemon, Honey. Bee Pollen. Lavender.
Do I like bee pollen? Am I allergic to bee pollen? Does bee pollen accept any business actuality in my cocktail? We’re about to acquisition out!
The Little Prince is acceptable except for the lavender shavings, which accumulate afraid to my aperture and argot and accomplish me feel like I’m bubbler absolute potpourri. I additionally could accept asked for a straw, but this is an award-winning cocktail affairs so maybe they should accept anticipation of that for me. I don’t feel that I can animadversion on the bee pollen, unfortunately, because I absolutely forgot about it, like Goldie with the mac and cheese.
The account is a little spotty, but this abode hasn’t alike been accessible for a anniversary so it’s forgivable. Notably, aboriginal on, we atom Jessica Biel sitting at the bar. She is dressed accidentally in jeans, a ample sweater and boots and has her beard pulled back. She’s considerately a admirable woman, but she’s abundant added arresting in actuality than I anticipation she would be. Is that a acceptable thing? Bodies are aing her for photos and she obliges. Jane offers to breeze one of Jessica and me but I accept no abstraction what way this analysis is activity to go, so, bigger not.
Our appetizer arrives and we apprentice that “naan trio” is an inaccurate name for this dish. Did I accept it would accommodate three altered types of naan? Does that accomplish any sense? IT DOESN’T MATTER. This is absolutely one blazon of naan with a leash of dips—hummus, baba ghanoush and some array of cucumber situation.
The naan is bendable and balmy and aggregate is absolutely tasty. Goldie tries hummus for the aboriginal time and brand it, so Au Fudge is already answering its calling by accretion the predilections of toddlers.
Jane addendum that the card is rather carb-heavy for West Hollywood, and for the blazon of army I brainstorm this abode will attract. It seems like they’re activity for a “comfort food” vibe, but for bodies who will consistently be a little afflictive no amount what.
For our entrees we adjustment the steak frites and the craven club sandwich with the $15 caviar add-on because WHAT and WHY and I will absolutely never adjustment the $15 caviar added on my own dime unless I one day become a tacky, barmy millionaire who doesn’t accept the abstraction of a delicacy.
Goldie’s broiled cheese arrives and the presentation is appealing abuse adorable—staying on theme.
She seems to adore them, and for $12 I god achievement so.
The accomplishments music includes a lot of Beyoncé and Rihanna. I’m giving it a ages afore we accept our aboriginal Blue Ivy spotting at Au Fudge. Although, the amplitude is baby so I achievement there’s some array of clandestine dining breadth in the aback because that’s a lot of absolute aing aborigine eyeballs on Jay and Bey.
There are at atomic two tables I apprehension that don’t accept accouchement with them, which, girl, I guess. It’s not as if Au Fudge says “children only,” but as you will afterwards see, accouchement accept like a absolute necessarily allotment of adequate this restaurant. Maybe they were huge 7th Heaven admirers who adulation throwing money into the shredder. I can’t say for sure.
Out aliment arrives and Goldie tries the caviar—her additional new aliment of the evening. She enjoys the caviar decidedly beneath than the hummus.
If you’re anytime cerebration of abacus caviar to a craven club sandwich, do not. Conceivably I accept an base palate, but I couldn’t aftertaste any of the caviar through the bread, chicken, lettuce, amazon and egg. Also, you’ll apprehension that the $15 of caviar was aloof plopped appropriate there on top of the bread. This presents absolutely a burning conundrum.
Are you aloof declared to leave it there? That seems messy. Jane tries to cast the aliment over but the added ancillary is dressed with mayo. We both end up abrading the caviar with the collapsed ancillary of the toothpick and overextension it central the sandwich. Aback I booty a bite, caviar absolutely spills out of the abandon and assimilate the napkin in my lap. $2 to $3 account of caviar about falling assimilate my soon-to-be-laundered t napkin feels like a absolute account for why they beheaded Marie Antoinette.
The steak is hardly beneath than fine.
Steak frites is like affluent person’s pizza, in that, alike aback it’s bad, it’s appealing good. Still, for $45 a plate, I should accept a clearer abstraction of what cut of meat I’m eating. Though I am comforted by the actuality that the meat is amoebic because this Los Angeles affairs catches up to you no amount what.
While we eat our entrees, Jane orders ambrosia for Goldie: a $15 allotment of “birthday cake,” which, aback it doesn’t accommodate candles, is not absolutely a specific blazon of cake. It’s aloof approved cake, guys. Approved block is delicious. No charge to ambush us with the affectation and accident of a birthday.
Sorry, still can’t let go of this altogether block thing. The alone acumen bodies anticipate altogether block is article appropriate is because they’re bistro it on a day they’re apparently already enjoying. The absolute block would aftertaste the aforementioned three months later. IT’S THE FACT THAT IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY THAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU’RE ENJOYING THE CAKE SO MUCH MORE BUT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF THE CAKE ITSELF. FURTHERMORE, BIRTHDAY CAKE IS NOT A “TYPE” OF CAKE.
Relatedly, the block is appealing dry and Goldie plays with it as abundant as she eats it. The allotment is additionally bisected the admeasurement of her head.
With alone the anticipation of my ambrosia advanced of us, we glance added carefully about the space. About 15 anxiety abroad are two bifold doors arch to a allowance abounding of toys. Jane peeked in beforehand but didn’t appetite Goldie to apperceive about it until she accomplished eating.
We ask our waitress about the allowance and she tells us that it’s a “creative space” for children. I charge apply all my activity to ascendancy the eye-roll of the century. For $15 an hour, you can bead your kids off and adore your meal afterwards abeyance from the animal beings you created but could additionally do afterwards for a brace hours. Jane addendum that $15 is beneath than the amount of a babysitter. (Do not aberration out, and amuse bethink that this is LA.)
The artistic amplitude (good aristocrat I abhorrence calling it that) is as tasteful and admirable as the blow of the restaurant. There is a cartoon station, books, a karaoke bureaucracy and a ambagious access arch to the treehouse—a adequate allowance at the top of the architecture abounding with ample pillows. Three au pairs (their word, not mine) agents the room. They are candied and appealing and admirable but, again, we’re beneath than a anniversary in, so I’m not abiding how attractive afterwards accidental (probably spoiled) accouchement wears on a person.
In the future, we are a by an au pair, the Au Fudge artistic amplitude will action things like cooking, yoga and agronomical classes for children. (Feel chargeless to appear up with your own antic for that one.)
Our hostess was declared to acquaint us about the childcare advantage aback we sat down, but because she didn’t, our waitress offers the account for free. Jane appropriately signs Goldie up and we adjustment wine.
About 10 account into the childless allocation of the evening, one of the au pairs comes to our table with Goldie in her arms. I accept there is some array of botheration or that Goldie doesn’t like actuality larboard in the aforementioned allowance as that one annoying little boy who kept accepted the microphone cords alike afterwards an au brace asked him three times not to. Turns out all she wants is for us to appear watch her accomplish karaoke.
Goldie, a big Katy Perry fan, chooses “Roar” for her Au Fudge debut.
She kills it.
Quickly advancing bottomward from the aerial of her performance, Goldie moves on to cartoon and we are no best needed.
Her timing could not accept been better, because on our way out of the artistic space, we canyon Taye Diggs, who is walking in with his son. He flashes that exploited smile of his and greets us with a “Hey, what’s happening?” What’s happening, Taye Diggs, is that, suddenly, advantageous $15 for a distinct allotment of block seems rather reasonable if you apperceive what I’m saying.
Returning to the table for the $18 monkey aliment I ordered bound brings me aback to reality. In an already comically cher restaurant, the ambrosia card at Au Fudge induces the bigger sad chuckle. The amount of every item, a from the à la carte ice chrism Sunday option, has the cardinal “one” in advanced of it.
How, I wondered, could a approved animal being—not a astrologer or some bewitched animal like Neil deGrasse Tyson—possibly accomplish monkey bread, served on this actuality planet Earth, that justifies an $18 amount tag?
Turns out, they can’t.
This is the best inarguably characterless moment of the evening. I’m academic they accomplish anniversary confined alone in a baby pan, which makes it adamantine to get those perfect, pillowy nuggets on the inside. The aliment is not bendable and is almost warm. I booty a few bites because it’s still aliment covered in sugar—hard to go too amiss there—but it doesn’t accept account the fasten in my claret sugar.
Again, this bowl costs eighteen American dollars. For an Andrew Jackson, I could calmly ample ten absolute loaf pans of monkey aliment and I affiance any sane actuality would adopt it to whatever I ate at Au Fudge. My mom’s monkey aliment is always better, so if anyone at Au Fudge would like her recipe, hit me up
Our bill clocks in at $237.62, including tax but afore gratuity. A few weeks ago Jane, Goldie and I went to a nice banquet for about $100 beneath than that. Granted, we didn’t adjustment both an appetizer and ambrosia (much beneath two of them) but I would never do that anyway.
The difference, of course, is that the aliment we had at that restaurant was adorable and account the $60 or so that I paid for it. Still, one affair I cannot abjure and that Jane credibility out is that Goldie seems abundant added adequate and affable at Au Fudge than she was at the added restaurant. (That apparently had article to do with the added place’s disability to accommodate a highchair, as able-bodied as their abridgement of children’s karaoke and babysitting.)
We amble on our way out while Goldie selects a treat. We footfall into the checkout band abaft Jessica Biel and a woman who I accept is one of her business partners. They action for us to go advanced of them because, duh, they bigger have.
To the cashier, Jessica asks if she can get some of the credibility bites or credibility case or credibility confined or some credibility adjoining pastry captivated up to go. She needs the credibility whatevers because “Justin loves them.” By Justin, she agency her husband, all-embracing pop brilliant Justin Timberlake.
We’re not abiding why she can’t aloof booty the accomplished jar of brownies home, back she owns the joint, or why she feels the charge to advertise that Justin enjoys the brownies, because that’s not cool accordant to the assignment at hand. You don’t accept to absolve your decisions to anyone, girl. You spent what I’m academic is a affluence on this restaurant. That comes with perks, like aloof avaricious annihilation you want, abrogation the bounds and afterwards not actuality arrested.
We assuredly leave and I appear to agreement with the actuality that I will acceptable never set bottom in this restaurant again. Jane sees a altered future. Beforehand she declared that she would acknowledgment to Au Fudge and appropriately adore a bottle of wine while her babe was beneath supervised affliction in addition room. Can’t altercate with that.
And this, my friends, is how Jessica Biel and her business ally will added pad their coffer accounts with the money of Hollywood elites and those who appetite to be. Biel and aggregation are alms what Los Angeles Magazine abundantly describes as, “Chuck E. Cheese for the One Percent.” To be clear, the aliment is characterless and overpriced—even for the adjacency it’s silly—but I can’t abjure that the abstraction has legs.
A few canicule afterwards Jane declared Au Fudge assemblage as the “lowest blind fruit” and “a bound audience.” There aren’t abounding added places alms what Au Fudges offers and for that reason, bodies will pay. Over Gchat, Jane added: “You could absolutely accept a debris pit with babysitters and wine and I’d accord it 5 stars on Yelp.”
The appointment to Au Fudge came a few canicule afterwards my father’s sort-of playful, sort-of not black about how he’s activity to be an old grandfather. I acicular out that, luckily for him, bodies are active best these canicule so it’ll all alike out.
The aing day, during a alarm with my grandmother, she acerb insinuates that she would like some great-grandchildren. I acquaint her that’s nice. My parents had me aback they were both 30 years old and I cannot alike activate to appreciate the alternation of contest that would aftereffect in me accepting a adolescent or actuality abundant in three years.
But if Au Fudge is still continuing in that absolutely undetermined future, conceivably I too will be accommodating to overpay for a dry steak so my adolescent can comedy with the pretentiously called accouchement of B-list celebrities. Apparently you’re accustomed to put caviar on a craven sandwich these days, so who knows what the hell will happen.
Contact the columnist at [email protected] .
Image via Getty.
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