Kid Hit Menu Items: In our family, waffles rank pretty high up there in the beloved kid food canon along with fries, ice cream, cheese and (some) fruit. Shaky Alibi owner R.J. Milano has replicated his treasured family Liège-style waffle recipe that’s the right mix of crisp and sweet, thanks to those gorgeous sugar pearls nestled within the batter ($5.50 and up). Upshot being this wafflerie serves some of the best authentic waffles you’re likely to taste outside of Belgian sidewalks and cafés. (The only substantial food I allowed myself during a five-day, food-free stay in Belgium thanks to a stomach bug I picked up in Morocco was one mere street waffle in Antwerp.) Plus many of us have Shaki Alibi to thank for bringing speculoos to this corner of Los Angeles. The world of the complexly textured waffle is vast here, however, and also includes savory options including ham, turkey, and cheeses — probably a better route if you’re going to slurp some drinking chocolate.
Adult Perks: A custom Brasilia beaut cranks out individually brewed cups of coffee and espresso drinks, and specialty teas.
Pros: Furnishings in the café, which doubles as an art gallery, are kept to a minimum. Closely supervised kids (gosh, I hope I still fall into that category after last week’s visit which at one point included sugar packets strewn about) can wander, or chill and play on the Mies-style black tufted daybed. The baby/toddler enjoyed the latter while we hung out with my friend Julie, a Shaki Alibi regular.
Cons: Some of the metal chairs and tables have sharp edges, high stools at the counter work better only for kids over a certain age or stable lap-sitters, and glass topped tables require extra vigilance. The waffles take a few minutes to make individually, but good things indeed do come to those who wait. Tables don’t work for clip-on hair chairs and the like, so it’s a lap situation. These are not your supple Eggo/Roscoe’s style waffles; fully chewing might be a challenge for little ones still gumming it.
Changing Station: No
High Chairs: No
Parking and Access: Street parking with hawkish parking enforcement. Yup, I totally got a ticket on Martel last week. Lately I’ve had bad juju when it comes to parking at cafes in this general area. Or maybe I just need to keep a closer eye on the time.
Other Tidbits: Milano’s concept works well in this neighborhood, with its firmly established base of high-profile restaurants, and a few bakeries/cafés located a few blocks east. Shaky Alibi’s interior is mostly taken from the circa 2010 L.A. restaurant décor style guide (concrete floors, reclaimed woods, exposed Edison bulbs, color accent wall and other splashes of color) and helps extend the hang out options past Susina and MILK. If you stick around long enough and need to round out the number of food groups eaten in one day, BLD and Eva are across the street, Kokomo and Playa are within rock-pitching distance (not like anyone would want to do that), while Buddah’s Belly is one block over. The welcoming corner spot in the low-slung late 1920s/early 30s-era corner brick building with views out onto the street makes this place an easy hang. One waffle makes a meal, but why not stick around and try another version? Or pop by for a weekend waffle nightcap.
7401 Beverly Blvd., Mid-City
Hours: Sunday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.