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Good News/Bad News: The Waffle

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The Waffle has been open for only two weeks, and even we're shocked to see how much hate it's already conjured up. Does the dining public really have that little patience for new restaurants? Aren't waffles like pizza: Even bad, they're OK? Because it's waffles. Or waffle fries. Anything in waffle form tastes good. But with The Waffle, people complain about the 70's brown-yellow-orange color scheme to the scrambles to the service to the servers' pseudo-cowboy uniforms. But is it all really that awful, or is there something else at work here? Say, for instance, a Hollywood contingency who have nothing but disdain for TV and film producer/ex-agent and manager and Waffle co-owner Gavin Polone? He spoke out against the WGA and then opened a Hollywood restaurant during the writer's strike. Perhaps that's the bad taste in everyone's mouth, not the food. Just a theory. We waded through the morass of early reviews, including first-time posters on Yelp and Chowhound who "just joined to write about The Waffle" (shills included) to bring you news good and bad.

Somewhat good: "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. [Chowhound]

Better?ish: I've given it 3 stars for quality ingredients and a good concept, but The Waffle is not long for this world if they don't get their shit together. Servers have this vacant, defeated stare when you ask them what is happening with your order or when you inquire about why your turkey and avocado sandwich is missing avocado. They seem sad and beaten down when they let you know that their computer has Hal-ed out on them and lost your order and that they are out of avocado. You shouldn't find yourself saying "it's ok" because you can tell that they can't take another pissed off customer. You should know that the coffee is excellent though. It is LA Mill stuff and maybe the best brewed coffee I've had in a restaurant. Like I said, the food is really good and The Waffle has the potential to be what the 101 Diner aspires to be - excellent homey food in a fun, casual setting. [Yelp]

Good: "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"???" [Chowhound]

So not good: "It's too bad their decor, music and food sucked. We had a bacon infused waffle- yes, a waffle with bacon in the batter, AND IT WASN'T GOOD. You won't hear me say that a lot, but the bacon wasn't flavorful enough. The waffle (as in the namesake of the restaurant) wasn't hot, wasn't light, wasn't airy... It didn't matter whether the side of hash browns with jalapeños and cheese was good or not, because they screwed up the waffle and wasted bacon. They're dead to me. Throw in Shawshank Redemption-looking uniforms, a country-pop version of Raspberry Berret and twelve clashing colors on the walls and you have the recipe for hot plate of suck." [Food Marathon]