As any parent knows, eating out with little ones is tough. Even armed with expert tips for dining out with the kids, you can still feel nervous about enjoying a meal around other adults when your baby isn’t yet a year old. As a mom of twin nine-month-old girls (girl power!), I’m always toting two booster seats, two bibs and two babies who like to toss their two spoons. So when Jessica Biel opened Au Fudge, her kid-friendly resto in West Hollywood, I had to see if I could bring my two babes, my husband and our arsenal of baby gear to this upscale, shabby-chic, totally California-vibes eatery and find out if it really lived up to the hype. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I decided that if I was going to do this, why not try feeding my babies some homemade baby food while attempting to enjoy a nice lunch with my hubby. A girl can dream!
We ventured out for lunch on a Saturday — figuring we’d pick the busiest time and see if we survive. This being Los Angeles in November, we were seated in the adorbs patio area. All around us were other families with kids of various ages, from babies to toddlers. The menu is decidedly Cali cool with a nod to young tastebuds, offering items like cheesy pretzel bites, burgers and avocado toast. If I weren’t breastfeeding, I’d totally imbibe the cheekily named cocktails — like First Base, filled with vodka, lemon, strawberry, thyme and sparkling wine. Instead, I opted for the fresh-pressed juice, which paired nicely with my vegan Caesar salad and avocado toast. My husband and I each took a baby and started feeding them their food.
High chairs are abundant at Au Fudge, including the beautifully chic Stokke brand. Even better, both the unisex and women’s bathrooms are stocked with Honest Company diapers and baby wipes, with a real changing station in each. If you’re like me and have learned how hard it is to change a squirming baby, you’ll appreciate having extra supplies at the ready.
For $15 for two hours, there’s a playroom for children called the Creative Space, which offers games, crafts, music and daily activities like cooking classes, story time and kids’ karaoke. (Check out the calendar for awesome rotating events.) Au Fudge Au Pairs are on hand to entertain kids while their parents enjoy a meal, though children under two must be accompanied by a parent. Once a child is checked in, they must stay in the Creative Space until their guardian checks them out.
In the back, you’ll find an arcade and a photo booth, with a fully stocked bar for the adults. In the front, there’s a cute marketplace with baked goods, to-go salads & drinks and fun stuff for kids.
My husband and I did something we thought was impossible — we had an adult lunch with our baby girls Chloe and Claire. No one blinked an eye when Claire let out a yelp. Or when Chloe tossed a few puffs on the ground. The waitstaff was extremely helpful and friendly. And the food was delicious. We were so impressed that we’ve talked about returning with friends who have kids. It was such a relief to venture out to a nice restaurant with two babies and enjoy every minute!
If you’re not in LA, you can snag some Au Fudge swag in the restaurant’s online marketplace. If you’re in the LA area, you can order a custom birthday cake for your little one (hello, ombre cake!) and celebrate the occasion at this kid-friendly eatery. Here’s hoping more restaurants pick up on Au Fudge’s awesomeness!
What are some of your favorite kid-friendly restos? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Au Fudge)