A few years ago I went to a fondue place in Forest Hills, Queens. I'm not sure how much of my experience applies to your question (different coast, etc), but here's what I remember:
Think Theme Restaurant: this is very middle-of-the-road, ordinary food done up so even people with the most timid palates feel like they're being adventurous. The clientele was mainly made up of office parties or other large groups out celebrating something. The menus were basically prix-fixe, with extra charges for drinks or non-fondue items. All the food was shared in big dishes on the table, and everyone just stuck their long forks in. You first got bread of various types to be dunked in cheese fondue -- either cheddar or swiss. The main course was raw meat (beef, chicken, and shrimp) and vegetables, again with a choice of fondue: oil or broth. Dessert was strawberries, marshmallows, and hunks of pound cake with either dark or milk chocolate. Yum -- who doesn't like melted chocolate? I seem to recall that they flambeed the dark chocolate before serving, so it must have had some liqueur in it. The food wasn't subtle or especially challenging, but it was kitchy, tasty and fun. I'm not sure if the Queens place is still open, but it seemed to be doing pretty brisk business when I was there.
I've been to La Fondue once and I really enjoyed it. It ranks up there on most "Most Romantic" restaurant lists in the South Bay. It's definitely upscale and has a great atmosphere. A little pricey...you can check out the menu on their website(http://www.lafondue.com/).
The food was great if you like cheese and chocolate(I guess if you don't like cheese, you shouldn't be at a place called "La Fondue"). =
They have the traditional cheese fondues made of Swiss, but most tame American palates will probably opt for the chedder fondues with seasonings like salsa or cajun spices. Very yummy.
For the main course, people usually pick the Scandanavian grill...think Korean BBQ with more upscale ingredidents. And dessert was the chocolate.
I found the food good and the ambience great. Would defintely go back once I find someone to dine and wine. ;-)
LaFondue is a great pick! I had dinner there with my now-fiance in January of '97. The rest, shall we say, is history! Great mood place, nice ambiance. The choice of chocolate fondues steel the show... Even a great find for dessert only for those of us who do pay attention to the waistline. The Fondue Feast is really the only way to go; but it can be very taxing on the tummy. I recommend La Fondue highly!