One-Month-old Coffee Bar & Wafflerie, Shaky Alibi, is your new neighborhood spot for handcrafted Sweet & Savory Waffles, locally roasted Coffee & Espresso, Loose Leaf Tea & Tea Lattes, and even Gourmet Drinking Chocolate. Everything is made-to-order, so there's no need to justify your sugar/caffeine-addiction after nervously, I mean, patiently waiting to feed it.
Step inside this chocolate brown-walled, orange and gunmetal gray accented space, sit yourself down at the 12-seater bar, then watch owner R.J. Milano bake each waffle, one by, on an iron specially imported from Liege, Belgium. His German-born great grandmother Agnes, who came from a family of bakers, inspired the recipe.
What separates a Liege Waffle from a Belgian Waffle is the dough – it's made from yeast, instead of batter. It's also smaller and denser, and tastes sweeter from the signature Belgian Pearl Sugar Crystals inside. The original was created by a cook for the Prince-Bishop of Liege in 18th century.
- sugar crystally crunchy outside, buttery caramel oozey inside "Sweet" Waffle with Crunchy Speculoos Spread, Praline Hazelnut Spread, Strawberries & Whipped Cream ($5.50 for Waffle, 99¢ for Toppings)
- smokey and tangy, too sweet from Pearl Sugar and not enough "Savory" Waffle with Black Forest Ham & Fontina Cheese ($8.95 for Waffle, $2.50 for Extra Meat & $1.25 for Extra Cheese)
- how all tea should be served from now on, foamy Earl Grey Tea Latte ($3.45)
- rich and dark like an Italian love affair Dopplo Double Espresso ($2.50)
When I first heard a new Waffle House was opening up on Beverly, I was excited, yet jaded, since there are already so many breakfast spots to choose from (BLD, Kokomo, Lulu's) on the Blvd. But the authenticity definitely intrigued me and did not disappoint. They serve both "Sweet" and "Savory" waffles, so naturally the hand model and I ordered one of each and split.
For maximum flavor potential, definitely order the "Sweet" Waffle with Crunchy Speculoos (thin, crunchy graham-cracker like crumbled cookies), Praline Hazelnut Spread, Strawberries & Whipped Cream – it'll blow your mind, not your cover. The Speculoos and Pearl Sugar give the outside a nice crunchy crust, while the buttery, caramel Praline Hazelnut sauce oozes down, creating melty soft pocket squares. Other Sweet Spreads include Creamy Speculoos, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, and Caramel, and are all imported from Belgium (or so the owner says). Bananas and Pecan Toppings (99¢) are also available.
For the "Savory" Waffle we ordered the Black Forest Ham with Fontina Cheese. While they balance each other well with smokey and tangy flavors, the same Pearl & Powdered Sugar Waffle is used, making the "Savory" anything but. I found myself wanting more salty ingredients like Dijon Mustard and Spicy Arugula to help mellow out the sweetness. Other toppings include Mesquite Smoked Turkey, French Swiss Cheese, and Medium Cheddar.
My hand model ordered the Double Espresso, which is rich and roasted dark like those in Italy. Instead of ordering my Solana Loose Leaf Organic Earl Grey Tea in an individual tempered glass teapot ($2.95), I opted to pay an extra 50¢ to make it a Tea Latte and fell in love. It's foamy with the same pretty leaf design as the Espresso Drinks, but not as rich or caffeinated. Next time I go back, I'm definitely trying one of their Gourmet Hot Chocolates ($3.50) in Mocha, Mint, and even German Chocolate Cake (oh yum!)
Shaky Alibi also serves Rori's Organic Ice Cream ($3.95 Single Scoop) from Santa Barbara with which you can turn your Waffle into an Ice Cream Sandwich or Sundae ($6.75-7.95). They also sell treats like Chocolate and Biscuits imported from Belgium.
Oh, and if anyone asks, stick to the "Sweet" story.
7401 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. 323-938-5282.