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The Waffle -- worst restaurant experience EVER

  • l

I know that this place just opened this week, so we went in for lunch knowing there would be a few glitches. What I didn't anticipate was, after an hour and a half, leaving without ever getting our food.

I have never walked out of a restaurant in my life. But my experience at this place was extraordinary! When we first placed our orders, we were the first people in the place and noticed that there was a large party getting ready to sit down. We asked if we could put our order in before them. The waitress said ok. And then she left for 15 minutes to take their order instead of ours. Super.

Finally we placed our order.

25 minutes later, it came out wrong.
5 minutes after that, it came out wrong again.
And again.
And again.

After waiting for an hour, and still with no success in ordering an EGG WHITE SCRAMBLE, we called over the manager. He assured us that he put in the correct order. (for the 5th time). And then he vanished.

After another half hour our waitress basically told us that our food was never coming and told us to probably leave because she really didn't know if our egg whites would ever show up from the kitchen. At this point, the restaurant was packed. They couldn't turn a table to save their lives, and we started joking with fellow diners about being stuck like a bunch of hostages.

Unless you are some sort of masochist, avoid The Waffle at all costs.

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  1. i was there too! it was like a POW camp in there with wild chickens running around upstairs!

    i give it -4 stars.

    1. Obviously there's no excuse for your experience. But it's worth noting that The Waffle didn't just open this week, it opened yesterday. So you were there on either their first or second day of business. Though you may choose to never go back, I think others who might be interested should still give them a fair shot -- after a requisite ramping up period.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wutzizname

        I owned a restaurant and we had a 'soft' opening for a week to work out the glitches. When we had our 'Grand Opening', all went quite smoothly. There is absolutely no exuse for the situation LilZ had, even if it was a soft opening. It doesn't sound like this place has any competent manager or any qualified staff.
        It won't be around long unless they change (drastically).

      2. And just think, they're supposed to be open 24 hours ... so there isn't even a down time for the restaurant to regroup.

        Too bad, Scooter Kafner deserves better than this.

        1. Yikes! Hopefully things flow a lot smoother next weekend when I plan on going.

          ~H.C.
          http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

          1. i saw the mention in "daily candy" today but the location is too far east for me to bother making the trip unless a place gets raves, so i ignored it. a friend then thoughtfully e-mailed it to me because they have gluten-free waffles on their menu, and i can't have gluten....but i explained to her that i was leery of a waffle place that offers only one gluten-free item, and prepares it in the same kitchen, and most likely with the same utensils - and cooks it on the same surface - as everything else. after reading the reports/reviews on this thread, something tells me my skepticism is justified, and that if i did actually manage to get any food there, it would likely be contaminated.

            think i'll stay home and make my own. i'll bet mine are better anyway ;)

            1. Reading this is such a bummer. I remember scooter kanfer from the house near Larchmont. They had the best mac & cheese, which I also see on the menu at The Waffle. I know that service is usually bad when a restaurant first opens, but what you experienced was beyond bad--that just sounds like total incompenence. I would usually avoid this like the plague based on the poster's comments, but I have to go there once for the mac & cheese.

              1. Wow. That sounds like one of those stories you'll be telling at parties for years to come! My goodness! After 5x! How hard is it to make an egg white scramble anyway? And, for the waitress to say you should probably leave? I'm at a loss for words!

                I can just imagine your frustration!

                Thanks for sharing with us though! I'm no masochist...so I'll just be avoiding the place...

                1. Good:
                  - seated fast
                  - nice waiter

                  Bad:
                  - eggs basic
                  - hashbrowns needed oil
                  - heard the owner give away 3 meals

                  I was sad. Nice logo, nice interior, food at the same level as dennys but not as good. I'm satin if I'm gonna get something that basic it better be either unhealthy dennys or the healthiest tastiest greasy spoon.

                  Hope they get better.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jimmyfood

                    I saw no mention yet but I'm going to guess the prices don't look like Denny's. I looked at the Waffle web-site last week, but the "menu" page linked to a nice discussion of the concept of their menu, but no menu. In my book, not a good sign....

                    1. re: Jimmyfood

                      Went there today and agree.

                      A place that claims to be on the organics-local sourcing bandwagon should at least have fresh orange juice, which they did not. I mean come on, it's the height of citrus season and you're a block from the biggest Farmers' Market in LA...buy some oranges.

                      Also, major points off for not using real maple syrup (it's served in little pitchers, but sure tasted unreal to me).

                      Food was way overpriced for both portion and quality, and yes, we got a dish comped because they got the order wrong.

                      Serving of bacon was tasty but tiny.

                    2. Is this the place at Sunset & Vine? I walked by this morning and it didn't look open yet.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Muskrat

                        I was there this morning and had a great time, decent meal and no long wait for the food. Unless you have experience opening a new restaurant where you actually put into effect the training you've been trying to give your staff before the place is open, then I suggest you give it time to sort itself out.It's not easy starting a new place especially when there are particular people out there, ready to scrutinize every negative detail about the place. How about "great bar and lounge area upstairs"?? How about, "friendly serivce"??? How about "gee, I can't wait until this place sorts out the kinks because when I am hungry at 2am this is the place I'll be happy to eat at"???

                        1. re: The Sauce

                          How about not subjecting your customers to your learning curve mistakes unless you're offering introductory prices?

                        2. re: katydid13

                          It's on Sunset, one block east of Vine.

                        3. I agree; was there on friday and placed an order for eggs sunnyside up, hash browns, coffee and toast and waited, and waited, and waited and finally got the blasted dish, having lost my appetite, ate it and left....awful experience; clueless waitresses, ordinary environment, prices OK, but would never go back either......i prefer square one anyday.....oh for the days of scooter at the house...

                          1. At the risk of kicking when they are down I'm about out of patience with this place. I want it to be good SO BAD because it truly would be a great addition to the neighborhood - I like the space, I like the location, I like the prices, but the food. Unfortunately it's just ineptly prepared. I have been here twice (see I really am trying to like it), they've gotten my order wrong once and what they did serve didn't match the description on the menu. I've read they are thinking about opening two more of these places but maybe they should try to figure out how to run one restaurant successfully before they open two more. I'm hoping somebody is telling them about the comments on here, because even after two bad experiences I am pulling for them to get it together.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: rezpeni

                              I went to the Waffle last weekend, and to be the optimist, I would actually try it again in the next few weeks. I had the basic waffles and was somewhat disappointed by the fact that they came out lukewarm. I also didn't understand how a place with such a blatant moniker could serve their waffles with pre-packaged butter. From what I was told the syrup is homemade, but it should have been served warm. There's nothing worse than cold butter and syrup on hot waffles. All this being said, I hope they are listening to feedback and will improve in the next few weeks.

                              1. re: tavona

                                >>There's nothing worse than cold butter and syrup on hot waffles.<<

                                Sure there is, (and you had it). Cold butter and syrup on "lukewarm" waffles.

                                And there's even one worse than that, same two items served on cold waffles.

                            2. We went there for a late breakfast (10ish) before a meeting nearby. I loved the location but do agree that the service and the food are mediocre at best. Especially at the prices charged. We should have gone to Doughboys which is not that far away.

                              1. I hate that this happened you, LilZ, but as with ANY restaurant opening, there are going to be kinks, with food, with service, even with ambiance. Hounders are notorious for pouncing on a place before it's had the opportunity to work out the kinks.

                                Let's be honest, Scooter comes with a solid resume and The Waffle will turn out to be just fine, in my opinion. If everyone goes back in mid-March, I would hasten the guess that 90% of the problems mentioned here are GONE.

                                FWIW

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: peanut112

                                  Kinks are one thing. These sound like knots.

                                  1. re: peanut112

                                    I dunno, Scooter was not getting such hot reviews on her last endeavor.

                                  2. I looked at the menu, posted somewhere in this thread, and found no mention of an egg white scramble. Perhaps if you'd ordered something they offered to serve?

                                    (Just kidding -- I get all het up, too, when the Water Grill won't satisfy my craving for chicken & waffles).

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Muskrat

                                      i know you're just being cheeky, but at the bottom of the egg page on the menu there is an "egg whites optional" note ...for the requisite additional charge, of course.

                                      1. re: Muskrat

                                        They do not put the egg white scramble on the menu as such, but at the bottom of the eggs/scrambles section, there is a comment regarding a $1.50 supplementary fee for egg whites on any of those dishes.
                                        Just came back from breakfast meeting there, and I had the pecan waffle while companion had the basic Belgian waffle. The servings consist of two small waffles, and in my case the roasted pecans and powdered sugar atop, while on the Belgian version, powdered sugar only. Small syrup containers needed refilling, and yes the butter was wrapped, yet good nonetheless. Do not blame them for using the wrapped variety, for health dept. reasoning if no other. How many times have you been to a restaurant that uses open slices instead of the wrapped variety, only to discover that the butter had been sitting in the refrigerator since the beginning of time, and was suffering from freezer/refrigerator burn - awful.
                                        Waffles were not overly hot, yet above luke warm, but as we were talking, they were cooling!
                                        Portion size was very appropriate for the $8 price. Doubt you would get similar fare at the Griddle, or maybe Broadway Deli in Santa Monica for any less.
                                        Key question here: Where is the fromt door? All doors to the building look identical. Well, it is the one directly under the sign visible from Sunset.

                                        1. re: carter

                                          I hate wrapped butter. Maybe I just have big clumbsy fingers, but I hate fumbling with the wrapper. I happy to pay a bit more for sliced or currled butter on a small plate.

                                      2. I just had lunch there yesterday, and I was expecting a fairly bad experience based on what I have read here. Perhaps it's because I didn't order breakfast, but I really enjoyed my lunch. We were seated quickly (at 12:30pm) and the hostess apologized that only outdoor seating was available. We were greeted within two minutes, and although my iced tea was forgotten, it was dropped of soon thereafter. I had the meatloaf sandwich, which although not easy to eat (meatloaf was not in a perfect slice, so it crumbled) it was still very tasty. The meatloaf was moist, the bread was fresh (I opted for sourdough) and the sauce was a good compliment. I had the coleslaw as a side dish, which was standard but tasty. My date had the roasted turkey sandwich, also on sourdough, and also a little hard to eat. He said it was not dry, and much better than the standard turkey sandwiches. Our iced teas were refilled when appropriate, and when I asked for an extra lemon, the busser returned quickly with three wedges. The bill was $33.24 including tip. I have to say that my experience was good enough for me to return, and soon!

                                        1. Hate to add to the barrage of complaints. And, yes, I understand a new venue, and the need to work out the kinks. But our experience was the sheer MEDIOCRITY in ingredients, craft and kitchen finesse.

                                          And I feel bad because I would like the restaurant to succeed, and hope it can get beyond some large midjudgements.

                                          Our food also came out lukewarm - a sandwich with bread that was soggy, and cheese that was unmelted on the ingredients inside. Undercooked french fries.

                                          We're vegetarian, and ordered the really-appealing vegetarian menu options, which really impressed us. But the execution was really -- we thought of this afterwards -- amateurish. We know this is supposed to be "diner food" like in the old days of coffee shops and comfort food. But it was all like someone's home-cooking who doesn't really know how to cook, went to the supermarket and grabbed pre-made ingredients (Boca burgers, fake-bacon-bits, fake-cheese) but didn't have the art to put it together properly.

                                          The sandwich was limp, 2 boca patties inside, grilled onions, unmelted cheese. So ordinary and badly made.

                                          Compare it to Flore Vegetarian Restaurant on Sunset, which has been packed since the day it opened a few months ago. They are doing the same concept of American classics but vegan - a reuben sandwich, un-tuna melt, club sandwich, that kind of thing. But everything is made in their kitchen, the flavorings and ingredients are inspired and interesting, and - I know this sounds like a commercial or I own shares, which i don't -- every bite is amazing. Their sigature salad - also $8 or $9, can't recall -- has lettuce, avocado, hummus, faux egg salad, beets, edamame, is enormous, and the best salad I've ever eaten -- compared to The Waffle's Cobb Salad, which had almost no ingredients, tiny fake-chicken cubes, a few slivers of insipid supposed-bacon flavorings, and really bad mustard vinaigrette that had the artificial sweetness of Smart n Final.

                                          I forgot to mention the onion "rings" -- that were not remotely rings but finely shredded lightly-flour-covered fried onions. They were pretty tasty, but not rings - and nothing like signature onion "rings" at places like The Alcove or Birds on Franklin.

                                          The service was lovely. They graciously recooked the Boca Melt, and ended up not charging us for it.

                                          But the thing in LA is: there are so many choices, and the quality of cooking, ingredients and concept for the veg items was so amateurish in comparison with all the great places -- and for those who are veg, more keep opening up every week -- that we can't imagine an improvement that could be so transformational that we would go back.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: tomhirko

                                            I think you hit the nail on the head, sounds like my experiences there exactly.

                                          2. I was curious to see what all the fuss was about and went to lunch on Thursday around 2pm to specifically avoid rush. I ordered a Caesar salad and the smothered hash browns. 3 other tables seated, one of them finished. It took 10 minutes for the salad, 13 for the hash bowns, the server didn't want me to wait for everything at once since I was getting antsy. The Caesar had butter lettuce mixed with romaine and big chunks of Parmesan, the dressing was OK. The smothered hash browns were good, not great and not worth the $9.00 tag. I sat at the counter so I could see the kitchen at work and its problem seems to be getting everybody in sync. Their timing is off. There is also the possibility of literally having too many cooks in the kitchen. You always overstaff when opening places, including the BOH, and too many bodies bumping into each other can throw off the cooking. Give the kitchen some weeks to develop their groove since there didn't seem to be much of a lead time to hire and really train the BOH between announcing the Waffle and opening it. Get the kitchen in order and the FOH staff will usually come in line also. A better kitchen in sync makes for a better FOH staff, unless they're totally clueless. Just so you know, I've worked in the restaurant/food industry for 25 years and have held every position in a restaurant/bar/gourmet retail food establishment, from bottom to top, both BOH(yeah I've worked the line in places similar to Waffle) and FOH, with the exception of owner. I've even worked with Scooter. I'll check back later and see if there's improvement.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: wykkedwilly

                                              Sounds like this place needs to hire you as an expert consultant, and SOON!

                                            2. Yea I hate to say it but the overall experience I had was very mediocre. I went with the gf during Sunday morning to grab some breakfast and to start things off the day was pretty cold. As soon as I walked in I noticed a few people waiting inside so I looked around for the hostess. No one looked like they were taking control of the front so I talked to one of the waiters and he pointed me into the right direction. The hostess took my name and added me to the list and in about 10mins we were seated. The table to the left of us was seated just a 1 minute earlier and the right table 5mins after. As we were seated we were greeted by the waitress and she took our drink and food orders. We got an egg white scramble, steak and eggs ($14 priced very reasonably) and some waffles. After about 10mins the left table got their food. 5 more mins passed and the table to our right got their food. 10more mins passed and then another 5. by the time our food came out the tables next to us had already finished and paid!#!#! it had been about 35-40mins before we got our food. to make matters worse my gf didn’t even get the correct order. Her egg white scramble totally looked yellow which could mean only one thing, yolk. We asked the waitress politely if she could confirm and she left. When she came back she of course said it was egg white only. The fishy part was that the order didn’t even have the correct side which made the matter even more questionable. She then took the dish away to the kitchen and came back with the same one only to reply that it really was egg white only. We didn’t believe her because it was freaking YELLOW so we decided to just cancel it and share my food. Sad part was that nothing was offered to compensate for it. Overall the food was ok, nothing really amazing about it. The waffles were kind of luke warm. Butter was rock solid cold and the syrup was average (should’ve been served warm). The biscuits which looked really good came out cold too. Overall very disappointed. I think the waffles and biscuits at Soup Plantation were better… lol. The place was also freezing and everyone sitting towards the entranced noticed it.
                                              The experience was terrible and hopefully within a few months they’ll be able to get their act together.

                                              I’ll definitely be back to give it another try.

                                              1. A link to a Metromix article about The Waffle has been split to the Food Media & News board:

                                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/500714

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                  Well, I'm glad to know that the problem isn't with the restaurant; that the real problem is that “Chowhound is a despicable entity".

                                                  Earth to Scooter: if people are complaining about the service, then the problem isn't the complaints: it's the service. If you need time to work out the kinks, then do a soft opening, or offer "work-out-the-kinks prices" alongside a disclaimer that you know things are rough, they'll be getting better, in the meantime please have patience. Absent that, it's perfectly reasonable for us to expect professional-level service.

                                                  (Not that I have much sympathy for anyone who read how much it sucked, then paid a visit, then came back here and complained that it sucked. I was going to write a post mocking them, but I didn't care enough.)

                                                  1. re: Bjartmarr

                                                    Was at The Waffle recently and while I enjoyed my waffle sundae, the service was not good. Waiter forgot one of our orders and was absent most of the time while other servers were chatting it up amongst themselves. I'd still go again though because it is open late and the waffle was pretty good, but will take a more cautious approach with the service.

                                                    I'm noticing a pattern with Scooter-K's restaurants, the last venture I tried (The House) was OK food and bad service

                                                    1. re: blackbookali

                                                      That's nice. It wasn't life-changing or anything, just a decent waffle sundae

                                                      1. re: Ernie

                                                        mine was life changing, like i decided to not eat at the waffle ever again as long as I live - ESPECIALLY at those inflated LA diner prices . . .

                                                        1. re: blackbookali

                                                          The waffle sundae was actually pretty cheap, around $5 if I recall

                                                          1. re: Ernie

                                                            my breakfast with eggs, bacon, and coffee came to like 20 with tip

                                                            1. re: blackbookali

                                                              There's a Denny's down the street with even lower breakfast prices if you prefer, but at ~$5 my waffle sundae was reasonable

                                                              1. re: Ernie

                                                                never eaten there - what do you usually get?

                                                                1. re: blackbookali

                                                                  Haven't been in years, but you should be able to get your bacon, eggs, coffee, and a waffle for under $20. Here is a menu for you to peruse:
                                                                  http://www.dennys.com/en/page.asp?PID...

                                                                  1. re: Ernie

                                                                    are the Denny's in the "east side" better?

                                                                1. re: Josh90004

                                                                  Guys...it ain't cheap. If he got one of the egg dishes that come without bacon:
                                                                  3 egg 4 cheese: $8
                                                                  Side of bacon: $4
                                                                  Coffee: $2.25
                                                                  Total, with 8.5% tax and 15% tip: $17.78

                                                                  ...which is "like 20", near enough.

                                                                  Despicable entity that I am, I'll probably be eating elsewhere.

                                                                  1. re: Bjartmarr

                                                                    While I certainly ain't gonna defend the place's service or consistency, I found their prices, across the board, to be shockingly reasonable.

                                                                    The 3-egg breakfast WITH Applewood smoked bacon is $8.00, including a huge portion of insanely good hashbrowns and one of the best biscuits I've found in L.A.

                                                                    1. re: wutzizname

                                                                      I agree about the prices being very reasonable. I had the ham, eggs and pesto breakfast, and thought it was a steal.You also get a choice of a side (i got a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit) plus toast or a biscuit.

                                                                      I was wary about the place based on all of the posts here, but my breakfast was delicious and the biscuit was definitely a winner. I wasn't as crazy about my friend's waffle, and despite the name of the place, I think they do better with their egg and protein dishes than with their waffles.

                                                                      The service the day we went was eccentric but friendly. All in all, I would definitely go back.

                                                    2. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                      "Kanfer-Cartmill hopes to open 30 more locations in the future, including several in and around L.A."

                                                      I think this says it all, this is a business plan, not a restaurant.

                                                      And, sorry, but you can't open with as much hype as the Waffle did and then say it's unfair for people to judge you in the first month. You want a soft opening, have a soft opening...not one promoted on blogs. The internet giveth and the internet taketh away.

                                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                        This quote is astounding. I haven't been to the Waffle yet, though I am a local and had planned on it. After hearing an ignorant statement like THAT, I am certain that I will instead continue to patronize the Griddle and grub.

                                                        Imagine if somone had said, "Disappointed diners are a despicable entity". Doesn't sound quite as nice or as easy to supprt, eh? Yet the meaning is the same.

                                                        She would have engendered a lot more support from me (and, I assume, other 'hounds) if she had said something to the effect of, "we've had a rough start, but I'm certain that in a month or two we'll have are systems all in place and I can make breakfast fun again."

                                                        Too bad she didn't.

                                                      2. Finally went and blogged about it ( http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com/2008... ) -- in short, it's not bad but definitely not all that, but kind of disappointing given its name, *the* waffle. Nonetheless, there might be a market for the place, especially given its late hours in an area filled with bars, clubs & other late-night places. I wouldn't go strictly for a fine meal, but if I gotta sober up or just plain hungry after clubbin' and not feeling Fred 62 , Langer's or 25 Degrees.

                                                        ~H.C.
                                                        http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

                                                        1. Finally got there tonight. After reading the infamous quote I was ready to hate it but I must say it was a solid B experience. Service has obviously been tightened up - we were constantly offered soda and water refills.

                                                          The savory cornmeal/jalapeno waffle was quite good and came with a huge sauteed chicken breast and really tasty smoky greens. The sticky bun waffles were decadent with a thick brown sugar/butter/cinnamon/walnut topping, no syrup was necessary.

                                                          Negatives to me were the thin light syrup offered (also served cold for some reason), and the solo waffles were perhaps slightly overpriced. And it can be awkward to find the front door depending on which way you approach. Also, valet parking should be called valet parking, not "ample parking" as on the website.

                                                          I'd go back but not in a huge rush to do so.

                                                          1. People need to really chill out about this place on this board.

                                                            I went with a few friends last night for dinner. All three of us really enjoyed what we had - I had the meatloaf, another friend had the dinner waffle and the other had the everything burger or whatever they call it.
                                                            The meatloaf was really moist and tasty as was the gravy. The string beans were fresh and the mashed potatoes were above average. Maybe the meatloaf wasn't the best I've ever had but it was certainly in the top 5%.

                                                            I was pretty impressed with the dinner waffle - the chicken was crispy and the sauce was the milk gravy found with chicken fried chicken, the waffle as savory and i probably liked it better than most biscuits that come with this sort of dish.

                                                            I didn't taste my friend's burger but he liked it and the waffle fries (criss-cut) that come with it were excellent.

                                                            We had a very good server experience - he was friendly and specifically recommended the meatloaf when I asked which dinner option was best and I wasn't disappointed.

                                                            I think the lessons that need to be learned from this whole Waffle controversy are that

                                                            1.It's really hard to judge a restaurant (especially service-wise) the first month it opens. Instead of being hateful and vitriolic about problems, be polite but sincere and specific and hope that it precipitates corrective measures by the restaurant.

                                                            2.Scooter Kanfer and associates need to recognize that chowhound and food blogs are a reality and instead of complaining, embrace them by saying something like "chowhounders made us aware of problems we were having and we used their imput to make our dining experience better".

                                                            3.People need to temper their expectations of what you expect - it's called "The Waffle", not "Lucques". It's is supposed to be slightly upmarket, fresh diner food. You are going to pay more for the location, "scene", and the fact they are clearly not cooking from a can - more than can be said about alot of diners.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: oro3030

                                                              Thanks, oro3030. We went there Saturday night after a movie at the Arclight. Food was better than expectations, and perhaps because of this board, service was attentive and very competent.
                                                              I read on another food blog that people were slamming this place because of non-food-related issues, and after my experience there, I would have to agree that the comments above do not match our experience.
                                                              This is definitely worth walking to after going to the Arclight, if you don't want to spend the money at Magnolia or the Hungry Cat. It is fine for what it is -- diner food that doesn't disappoint.

                                                            2. Went the other day for the first time, a full month after opening.

                                                              Food was hit-and-miss. Amazing biscuit and hash browns. Average tuna melt. 4 Cheese scramble was bad.

                                                              Service was still pretty comical. Several mistakes on our order but all quickly and politely corrected. We had 4 different servers helping us throughout the meal, none of which seemed to know what the others were up to. And most of them were walking around in a daze. We were literally laughing at how confused and overwhelmed the servers looked.

                                                              For what it's worth, we were there at the height of the lunch rush and the place was pretty slammed. But based on my experience, I imagine service and consistency will continue to improve and The Waffle will be around for a long, long time.

                                                              Will service ever be their strong point? Probably not. But that hasn't taken Fred 62 down yet.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: wutzizname

                                                                Wutzizname:

                                                                Well, Fred 62, I'm told, since the change in ownership/management, has moved their service out of the stratosphere of comic awfulness into the range of merely "not so good".

                                                                Has any mid-town/Hollywood place focused primarily on breakfast lasted, more than a couple of years, recently and done it with BOTH "hit or miss" food and "comical" service? Even the self-anointed hip cognescenti will only stand for so much, I'd think...

                                                                1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                  Yes, but I suspect both will improve steadily. And perhaps more importantly, among my non-Chowhound friends, the sound bite I keep hearing about The Waffle is an excited, "I hear it's great." So my guess is that the masses seem to have sidestepped the bad buzz and are instead along for the ride.

                                                                  1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                    "Has any mid-town/Hollywood place focused primarily on breakfast lasted, more than a couple of years, recently and done it with BOTH "hit or miss" food and "comical" service? Even the self-anointed hip cognescenti will only stand for so much, I'd think..."

                                                                    IMHO, you just described the Griddle and Barney's Beanery. And maybe Hugo's as well.

                                                                    And as for Fred 62, the service has improved considerably under the new(er) ownership, granted that it could barely have gotten worse.

                                                                2. Anyone been in the wee hours? I wonder if service is better at, say, midnight or one.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Diana

                                                                    I went at 9:30 on Saturday night. It was busy but not packed and I had zero service problems.

                                                                    1. re: Diana

                                                                      I recently went to The Waffle at 1AM-ish expecting the absolute worst of everything and, guess what? Not one thing went awry: the service was perfection and the food (bacon-waffle w/side of poached eggs) was delish.

                                                                    2. I went last week, midweek, and sat at the counter. Manager/owner type was there, coaching a very green countergal. The jalapeno/chicken thing was a little gloopy--I'm not a huge fan of greens, and their bitterness smothered the nice taste of the waffle. It was a B+ experience. Points off when countergal whisked away my half-full, perfectly sweetened coffee and sloshed it back to me full, coffee dripping off the handle. I still prefer the Griddle, but I bet I'll be back to try that pecan one.

                                                                      1. We ate breakfast at the waffle yesterday 4/12/08 (Saturday morning) at around 11:30. The lowdown -- food is very good, service is awful. We won't go back.

                                                                        We got seated right away but the quarters were very close. No one brought us any water. It took about five mins to get the attention of our waitress to order two coffees -- she finally brought the coffees and half and half but no spoons -- the waitress said she'd be back to bring the spoons -- never brought us spoons. We ordered our breakfast, and our entrees came out but not the side of bacon that we ordered -- the waitress asked if we needed anything else and I pointed out the bacon we had ordered.

                                                                        We did get all of our food -- the baked-in bacon waffle and the multigrain waffle, and our side of bacon. All were excellent.

                                                                        But at one point while we were eating, the waitress came up and asked if she could help us (as if we just sat down) and then apologized, saying, "Sorry it's too early in the morning." It was 11:45 and she works at a breakfast joint!

                                                                        So then, we asked for water, we never got any water. Finally, not getting the water we asked for, I asked for the check.

                                                                        After I gave her my credit card, the waitress came back a minute later and said "The card didn't go through." I knew that wasn't possible, so I politely asked her to run it a second time. She came back and said their credit card machines were down and she didn't know when they'd be up again. That kind of annoyed me, but you know, it wasn't her fault, but I was mostly annoyed because obviously the reason the card "didn't go through" was really because their machines weren't working, and there's a big difference between a credit card being declined and the machine being broken.

                                                                        Anyway -- long story short we waited about 10 mins for the credit card machines to come back up again but they didn't and they had no idea when they would, so my boyfriend ran to the ATM.

                                                                        Overall, we had a bad experience -- we live in Silver Lake and there are plenty of great breakfast spots (Millie's, Madame Matisse, Eat Well) on our side of town, so next time we'll just stay in the 'hood. It's a shame though because the food at The Waffle is so good.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: silverlakelisa

                                                                          Ack! The last time we went to a restaurant and their credit card machines were down and they made us wait a little bit... they eventually comped us the meal... Luckily, we had enough cash for the tip...

                                                                          --Dommy!

                                                                        2. So, I have to say that after reading all this:

                                                                          1. The Waffle received far too much buzz right after just opening and was clearly not ready for the crowds (bad PR strategy?)
                                                                          2. Too much traffic in a restaurant not prepared to handle it will generally mean bad service.
                                                                          3. These postings have, for the past few weeks/month, slowed down the traffic going to the waffle. Which leads to:
                                                                          4. Better service, and, the food shines. The waffle I had last week was great - not amazing - but great. Crispy on the outside, buttery on the inside and full of flavor. Also had the corned beef hash browns and found those quite tasty too. The servers had on smart uniforms as they addressed a dining area with about 90% of the tables taken. I think this is part of a growth spurt for the business and I'm willing to give them another chance.

                                                                          Let's all agree - this is CHOWHOUND, not SERVICEHOUND. When there's bad food, I give the place one chance only. If I go and I hate the food, I'm just not going back. But, if the food is good and the service leaves something to be desired, I go back when I'm not too hungry or in a hurry and bring a book and hope for the best. Technical glitches, service errors, ceiling falling down, it doesn't matter as much as the food. If the food doesn't hold up and stay consistent, though, forget it. It's all about the CHOW, guys.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: tablefor1

                                                                            But if you read the above complaints, it's not all about a snotty server, it IS about the chow because they keep messing it up! I agree with you 99%, as I try to gloss over any service hic-ups in my posts. But if someone here was raving (lets say the Bacon Waffle, which sounds right up my alley) and I go there and opps... They serve me the wrong waffle... or Darn... they forget to put in the order... or Yipes! The waffle comes to me cold... then how the heck am supposed to know if it's good chow to begin with?

                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                            1. re: Dommy

                                                                              I just read through the April posts, which means The Waffle has had 2 months to figure out how to please its customers. Clearly, it isn't doing that yet, overall.

                                                                              I had been wanting to go, since the LA Times gave the place a good review, but I think I'll skip it. I had a fantastic waffle and great service at the Fountain room in the BH Hotel a couple months back, and the banana/choco chip pancakes at Lulu's (Beverly and Detroit) are to die for. I'll stick with those places.

                                                                          2. Went to The Waffle on Memorial Day. Wasn't served for over an hour, at which point the waitress asked me again what my order was. Several tables around me were in the same boat, and when they got their food, after waiting 45-60 mins, it was cold or wrong. The cream they served was curdled. When the manager was told about all this, he didn't apologize and didn't help. The kitchen couldn't seem to get any order out or any order right, and management was of no use. The waitress, who was trying to get everyone their food but foiled at every turn, started crying from sheer stress. THIS PLACE IS A NIGHTMARE.

                                                                            1. Seeing as how this thread has popped back up, I guess I'll chime in:

                                                                              I went about six weeks ago. It was about 5:30 on a Friday evening, after work for an early bite with a coworker. Frankly, I can't really remember what she had or what we ordered to split between us. (Onion rings? Hash browns? Chili fries?) I guess that says something about the level of the food there. I remember we enjoyed it at the time, but I also remember the earth didn't move beneath me like, say, when I first went to Roscoe's or when I had the pre-closure Du-Par's French toast.

                                                                              I ordered the fried chicken, greens, and corn-jalapeño waffle. My friend loved my chicken, and it was done well. The greens were laden with pork and vinegar - so much vinegar as to cover much of the greens' natural bitterness, but the heavy sourness was offputting to me. The corn-jalapeño waffle wasn't terribly spicy; it lacked a strong presence on its own, but with syrup, it was really good. Unfortunately, more than half of it had been piled with the vinegary greens, making it soggy and sour and unsuitable for adding syrup.

                                                                              It was a good dish, well-executed and served quickly. None of the desserts were tempting, but we were full, anyway. The service was attentive and congenial. Of course, that shouldn't have been hard as we were, for half the time we were there, the only customers in the restaurant. The decor was like a Waffle House gone hipster. It's close to the Red Line for me, and I think the prices are fair, so if I wanted a bite before hitting the Hollywood Farmers Market, I'd consider it. But really, it's a step up from an IHOP, sure. It's in my "Terroni" category of restaurant: Nothing to write home about, but one of those relaxed restaurants with a degree of hipness that could come in handy on short notice.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Woolsey

                                                                                I'm sorry but this place is about 1/10th as good as Terroni. Went here for lunch this week since I am working in the same building now and the fries they served tasted old and dry. I'd rather spend a few dollars more and have something competently prepared at Magnolia.

                                                                                1. re: rezpeni

                                                                                  I'm not saying it's as good as Terroni - not that I'm wild about Terroni. (Terroni is, to my mind, little more than a really snazzy, junk shop-styled Italian IHOP.) I'm saying it's one of those places that is okay, open late, mildly hip, has food that will satisfy pretty much anyone in a group, and, as it takes no reservations, can serve as a good fallback when one needs a place to eat in a pinch.

                                                                              2. I had to try it again this morning because the Griddle, Doughboys and Lulu's were all packed. Had no trouble getting a table for two but even when it was painfully slow, it took 10 minutes for us to get the menu, another 10 minutes to get water and coffee and another 10 minutes to order. When the food finally came (another 15-20 minutes), my Denver omelet was fluffy but the famous hash browns were soaking in grease and the buttermilk biscuit was hard as a rock. The side of bacon was tiny, fatty and all around nasty (nothing like the thick and tasty smoked applewood bacon of the Griddle). My SO's waffle were a bit on the dry side and the fried chikcen was greasy but tasty because he finished it all. The bill was $37 and with tip rounded out to $46. Will never go back.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: ExtraCheesePlease

                                                                                  Why'd you leave such a good tip for such lousy service?

                                                                                  1. re: Josh90004

                                                                                    I was a waiter in college and I guess I'm a softie.

                                                                                2. I almost ate here awhile back (the blueberry-lemon curd waffles sounded really good) However, when I found out that the waffles, a side of hash browns or fruit, and tea would be almost $20 with tax and tip, I said forget it.

                                                                                  Yeah, I understand it's Hollywood, and food prices are rising, but still - ridiculous.

                                                                                  I'd rather spend a little more money and go to Hungry Cat instead.

                                                                                  1. We went there a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday after the Farmer's market... Needless to say, it was busy...

                                                                                    The thing we noticed from the get go is the people standing around us waiting for a seat were almost all talking about their 'rep'.

                                                                                    It was a bit surreal because everyone there was acting like an audience, one party of five went in to be seated... only to find be placed in a tiny table barely for four, needless to say, they marched out back into the waiting area with a waitress chasing after them, deeply appologizing. A couple had quite a few plates of food and after finally flagging their waitress down, curtly asked for a to go box. The waitress got exasperated and asked if something was wrong with their food. No, the couple responded talking to her as she was 5 years old, we just ordered too much food...

                                                                                    Each event caused a knowing nod among people. Then they would walk in with smirks when their names were called.... just waiting to see what time bomb awaited them...

                                                                                    We got in and the service was slow. Again, it was busy, we planned to share dishes, it didn't bother us too much. We got the Corn Meal Jalapeno Waffle as discussed earlier, I expected more heat, but the corn flavor and crispness was very good. It came with a great fried chicken breast and the greens added an interesting flavor to it all.

                                                                                    As we ate our Waffle, the couple next to us was NOT sharing their food. One member of the party got their food.... then the other party keep on looking around and then stared us angrily as we got our second dish...

                                                                                    Our second dish was Corned Beef Hash. Again, well executed, but the flavors were not as strong as we hoped. The biggest heartbreak however was that we ordered a poached egg to go with... when we finally got it ourselves, it was pretty much cooked all the way through... :(

                                                                                    Meanwhile, the other member of the couple got his dish, and the one who got served first complained to the waiter that since he had waited for his friend to get his... now his eggs were cold. The waiter again, deeply appologetic, took it back to microwave it. When he finally came out again, he brought the party a side of Bacon... on the house... they both gave that same knowing nod...

                                                                                    We got our check and it was around $30. Not exactly Denny's prices, but also not exact a check that would lead for the waiter to have a great tip either (especially with the Snafus)

                                                                                    In the end, we just felt sad being there, the waiters and staff are obviously walking around ultra paranoid and the patrons are all seeingly there hyper aware what is going on. So as in the case of the couple who ordered too much, a mountain is being made our of a mole hill on both parts...

                                                                                    In the end, as hounds we can't recommend the Waffle strictly because their Kitchen can't even poach an egg right. And as people who truly LOVE to go out to eat and have a good time... the vibe in there is just toxic, which as I mentioned in a previous post, even if they got the egg right, we would not return...

                                                                                    --Dommy!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Dommy

                                                                                      That is so interesting to me, that people would go in there seemingly with the desire to be let down. I sometimes feel like hating has become a hobby for a lot of people.

                                                                                      But, um, adding fuel to the fire, perhaps - in my experience with a messed-up order at The Waffle, it was the servers themselves who made the situation uncomfortable; It's not the end of the world to me if they serve me the wrong type of waffle, but one food runner looked like he wanted to slap me when he realized he served me the wrong dish (I hadn't said anything yet, he just happened to notice). It was kind of a weird reaction.

                                                                                      But the food can be really good, especially the mushroom hash browns.

                                                                                    2. I should've checked CH before deciding to try The Waffle. I went yesterday around 2:00 pm, the place wasn't even close to full. Still, I waited about 10 min. for the only waiter working to seat me, until the manager had to step in and offer me a table. Then came the at-least-10-min. wait for my order to be taken, which made me realize I wasn't going to be able to stay parked on the street long enough for my meal to be done. I asked about their parking, and had to pay $2.25 for parking that they validate. To me, "validated parking" means no money needed for only 60-90 mins.

                                                                                      I would've approved of the food prices, if the food had been excellent, or at least hot. My $9.50 bacon waffles were small, had bacon pieces inside that were so undercooked that I felt I was eating raw bacon fat, and arrived lukewarm. Also, the bacon on top tasted like grease, not applewood-smoke.

                                                                                      Although many menu offererings sound tempting, I doubt I'll be eating here again.

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: okamarama

                                                                                        Well, I've given this place 3 chances, and I'm done! We waited until June to try it, hoping they had worked all the early opening kinks out.

                                                                                        1st visit--June, random Wednesday around 1 PM. Seated right away, only about 4-5 other tables. Ordered the bacon waffle and a side of scrambled egg. Thought it was weird that it's just. a. waffle. for $9. Hubby got the buffalo chicken sandwich w/ fries. Fries were good. Eggs were overcooked, waffle was good, not lifechanging.

                                                                                        2nd visit--4th of July weekend, around 12:30. Actually seated right away, even though the restaurant was packed and some big parties were waiting. Waited about 10 minutes to be acknowledged by our server, even though the tables on either side of us were getting waited on, but we had a different server. Finally, she took our drink orders, then disappeared for another 10-15 minutes (no one else can deliver water and coffee?). Took our order, waited about 25-30 minutes to get our food. I ordered some sort of scramble with ham and cheese, hubby got the 3 egg breakfast w/ bacon. He got the 3 egg breakfast w/ sausage. I got some weird, undercooked egg particles. Seriously, I have never seen eggs this texture. The waitress noticed I was looking at them funny, and took them back to be reheated. They came back and were now done, but still weird looking. Almost like small curd cottage cheese or something. Like an egg had exploded then been smashed back together, a la Pringles. I later asked my chef friend what was up w/ those eggs, and she said they were probably some sort of convenience eggs that had been frozen and gotten watery. They were gross. Biscuit on the side was nothing special at all.

                                                                                        3rd visit--today. Thought we would give it one last shot, and we were meeting friends for a 1:20 show at the Arclight. Got there at noon, seated in less than 10 minutes, ordered by 12:15, and then..... nothing. Finally got Italian meatball soup (containing no meatballs!) and salad at 12:55. Told the waiter at 1:05 we had a movie. Said it was a problem w/ the kitchen, he was already asking the manager to comp our meals. Finally got rest of the food at 1:15. Hashbrowns w/ chili could have been good, if the hash browns had been cooked at all, mac n' cheese was lukewarm at best, bacon overcooked and waffles (the 2 bites I got to eat before running out) were tasty.

                                                                                        Look, it's breakfast, not rocket science. If a Waffle House can operate w/ one cook and one waitress and get food out in 15 minutes, I would think we could get our food in less than an hour. Especially since half the food should have been already made or partially made (soup, salad, mac 'n cheese, chili). It's just not that hard. OVER IT!

                                                                                        1. re: Slackerchick

                                                                                          I gave up a month ago. Exactly same as you described AND I know Scooter personally (for over 15 years)! Sorry, but you couldn't pay me to go back there.

                                                                                      2. Went here after Farmer's Market this past Sunday. It's in my neighborhood so I thought what the heck. Silly me. It was 8:30am. Maybe 5 people in the place. 3 different staff members asked me what I wanted and I still didn't get a cup of coffee for 10 minutes. Ordered a simple pecan waffle. 25 minutes later I got it. Lukewarm cardboard at best. VERY obvious that this place is poorly managed and the people in charge seem to care less.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: notakssass

                                                                                          Sounds like an episode of Kitchen Nightmares