• madeleine bistro is fundraising to build a new vegan ice cream & sandwich shop in LA

    October 13th, 2011quarrygirlLA restaurants, madeleine bistro

    after years of sticking it out in the valley, madeleine bistro (our favorite restaurant ever) is finally planning to expand over the hill and open a cafe in los angeles next month. according to them, it’s gonna be an all vegan ice cream, pastry, and sandwich shop in westside LA featuring many of the menu items from madeleine bistro as well as an array of handcrafted desserts and eventually booze! but before they open, they need to do a bit of fundraising, and they’re offering some pretty sweet prizes (pun intended!) to people who help them meet their goal.

    they’re only accepting donations for ten days, so if you wanna get in on this, don’t stall. i’m usually pretty wary of online fundraising, but with this deal donors get something back in return—anything from free desserts to a party catered by chef dave. hmmmm…help a vegan restaurant open, and get a party catered by the country’s best vegan chef in the process? i may have to go out and make some actual friends so i can take advantage of this!

    seriously though, read all about the project here and pitch in whatever you can. los angeles will be a much better place when this cafe is open.

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42 responses to “madeleine bistro is fundraising to build a new vegan ice cream & sandwich shop in LA” RSS icon

  • I’d be wary of contributing anything. They can’t even run the place they have properly, so why would we think they could do better with two locations?

  • Good point voodoo. And what is the point of another vegan ICE CREAM place? It’s goofy.

  • a) It’s not just ice cream, it’s ice cream AND indulgent sandwiches, salads, etc. Besides, where else on the Westside is there a vegan ice cream shoppe?

    b) re: Voodoo’s comment- the current Madeleine Bistro ownership team has added a few new partners to the mix (one of which has experience opening 30+ bars & restaurants), enabling them to branch out far beyond what they were capable of in the Tarzana location. I can’t wait!!

  • Tell me where this plethora of vegan ice cream places is, because I’d sure like to know.

    (Scoops and Kind Kreme don’t count because I don’t think either of them taste any good.)

    (PS – The best vegan ice cream in the world is at Chili Addiction.)

  • In response to Voodoo & John…

    OUCH!! Those are some very strong comments. I will admit we are goofy and take that as a compliment. Regardless of what your feelings about how we’ve operated in the past may be; we encourage you to believe in what we’re capable of in the future and that we have something positive to offer to the world -in particular the vegan community. The truth is: we have made mistakes, as all humans do. And we have learned from them, and continue to learn and grow, as most humans strive to. We would love a chance to change your negative opinions and welcome you to introduce yourselves so that we can give you a taste of what the future holds.

    With love,

    Molly & Dave

  • As stated, it’s not just a vegan ice cream place. And in reality, we don’t have any vegan ice cream stores. Scoops and Kind Kreme have vegan options but aren’t vegan. It would be really nice to have a vegan ice cream shop and the fact that it will have sandwiches, etc. AND be on the westside makes it even more appealing.

  • Molly & Dave, if you continue to read this, I must say that I agree with voodoo’s initial statement. My wife and I were very early customers at Madeleine and went there over a dozen times. It was 45 minutes from home but worth the drive – for a while. But over the years, your prices just became ridiculous even as the professionalism of your waitstaff declined. It became a less and less “special” experience going there and eventually we just felt insulted to pay $100 for a dinner for two (without drinks) in an empty restaurant where the inexperienced waiter (who seemed like a dishwasher who got a promotion) had absolutely nothing to do, yet still ignored friendly requests for water. Yes, good customers really do remember these annoying little details!

    I wish you all the success in the world on your new venture. If you want to offer your diners a special experience, either offer dishes that fit a wider range of budgets, or at least hire expert servers and an interior design team who can create a restaurant good enough to justify that $100 dinner for two.

    And I agree: Asking for donations reeks of flop sweat. Seek serious investors instead, then manage your business so that your answer to “we aren’t making enough money” isn’t to raise your high prices even higher, than cut back on hours. I assume you realize this mistake now, since that approach obviously resulted in your restaurant shutting down.

    A once loyal customer

  • Wow! Very sorry to hear that “once loyal customer”! And we thank you for your input. We do have serious investors and an all star team in place, but are encouraging customer support in exchange for fun prizes as a way of building community and excitement for this project. Our restaurant has not in fact shut down; but has cut back on operations as we have been planning this move for some time. We’re so disappointed to hear that your last experience with us did not meet your expectation, or seem justified for the effort and expense on your part. Perhaps you will give us another try in the future – we’d certainly appreciate an opportunity to win you back since you claim you used to enjoy dining with us. We wish you all the best and hope you will wish us well also!

    With love,

    Molly & Dave

  • And thank you for the encouragement VeganInLA… Hope to see you at our new shoppe!
    M & D

  • The only thing that kept us from eating at Madeleine Bistro way more often was the long drive. I’m very excited they’ll have a cafe so nearby! Thanks for the good news. (I’ve got a miserable sinus infection right now so this really is a morale booster. Seriously.)

  • Thank you for letting me know about the vegan ice cream at Chili Addiction! I thought they only did sorbet BS, but they say they have Candy Bar and Toasted Caramel(?)

  • I agree that Scoops vegan ice cream tastes horrible. However, I completely disagree with you on KindKreme – I think it is great. Vegan ice cream waffle with toppings is amazing

  • I’m confused is the shoppe going to open up regardless of how many donations you get? Do you have a street address yet?

  • How a vegan can not like Scoops non-dairy flavors, or even more shocking, think it’s better than KindKreme is beyond me. I guess to each his own but wow, don’t take a crap all over Scoops. They are providing a vegan ice cream option on the west side where nothing else exists for now, and it’s often terrific. Maybe Madeleine’s will be better, but as of now, Madeleine has no vegan ice cream for sale over here. So that bragging about how it tastes even better than any real ice cream ever is kinda sad and kinda koo-koo. Love you molly and dave, you do great work and your food is terrific, but i’m guessing perhaps it’s your new partner who wrote up that odd description of the (non-existent) ice cream’s virtuosity and even weirder, that odd request for money. Are you a non-profit or something? I don’t think so. Yet that wepay thing makes you look like a charity or even worse, like you’ve got your hat out. Ill-considered.

  • I’m with forcor. I agree re: the prices, ambiance, service, and request for donations.

    When I hear fundraiser I think charity…or scam.

  • Lover of all plant based food

    Haven’t you ever heard of Kickstarter.com? For-profit businesses often crowd source funds in hopes of getting their projects off the ground. “Kinda confused” about how you can find it “kinda sad” that Madeleine’s presents their ice cream as THE best- just because you haven’t tried it doesn’t mean they haven’t! To use your terminology- it seems “koo-koo” to assume their ice cream is “non-existent” just because it’s not for sale at the Madeleine Bistro location yet.

    Anyway, look forward to supporting and patronizing this venture! Any time an incredible vegan establishment is able to open new locations, you know you have my love. And YAY FOR THE WEST SIDE!

  • Lover of all plant based food

    See my reply to “no Meat”- but really, look into sites like Kickstarter.com and indieagogo.com. It’s becoming very popular for blossoming businesses to seek support from an enthusiastic community. Besides, it’s not just a donation…you get something in return! I wish I had a couple thousand to donate, because I would LOVE to have David Anderson cater something at my house!

  • I know about kickstarter, thanks.

    Maybe I’m just sour on this pitch because I’m not in love with Madeleine Bistro. I hope the new place is awesome, I just don’t have high hopes.

  • Just a note, “paninis” is not a word. Panini is plural of panino.

  • They dropped the sorbet in flavor of some creamy-ass vegan ice cream. There’s lots of flavors, depends on the day. Candy Bar, Toasted Marshmallow, Spicy Blueberry, Peach…

  • Well that sure was a slip. In FAVOR of, not in FLAVOR of.

  • Maybe if you’re some kind of alcoholic, Scoops is good. They sure like to put liquor in 90% of the flavors.

  • Just a note, you’ll have to explain yourself every time you use the word “panino” in public, and come off like a snobby PSA.

    No one will question you if you use the word “paninis”. Except for snobs.

  • I’d rather be a snob than a philistine.

  • Shut. The fuck. Up.

  • @forcor: What makes you think your server was a promoted dishwasher? Are you referring to the nice (and attentive) Mexican waiter? Racist.

  • The only good thing MB has going for it is the food. Over the years I’ve basically had to fight to eat there – I’ve left countless messages for reservations and never been called back, have shown up during the times posted on their website (and Yelp) only to find them closed and even shown up with a reservation to be told there was a wait and have them deny any knowledge of the reservation.

    They closed with a fanfare, then reopened two weeks later and now THIS?

    I believe these guys don’t know how to operate a business, and the only people that should risk capital on a new venture are investors who are able to calculate the risk.

    Frankly, I think asking for donations in this way is in very poor taste.

  • Um, yup, I’ve heard of kickstarter, but I didn’t know it was about raising money for start-ups in exchange for dessert. FYI, from kickstarter’s FAQ: If you are unable to fulfill the promises made to backers, cannot complete the project as advertised, or decide to abandon the project for any reason, you are expected to cancel funding. A failure to do so could result in damage to your reputation or even legal action on behalf of your backers.

    Is Madeleine’s prepared to do that? This ain’t no kickstarter. There’s no set goal they’re looking to raise, which falling short of, we’ll all be refunded, is there?

    As for their ice cream brag, I’m just kinda teasing them. Their food is, for the most part, fabulous. I’ll treat them saying it’s better than any ice cream that’s ever existed in the history of the world the same way I treat every pizza box I encounter that says, “You’ve tried the rest now try the best.” Just seemed unlike them to be such doofuses, that’s why I assume it’s the “new partner” at work there.

    Like you, I am looking forward to supporting and patronizing this venture, but my money will be given to them for actual food, not via some hippie website.

    P.S. Do you really love all plant-based food? Even sprouts? Ick!

  • Oh crap, you’re probably Mormon. Didn’t mean to insult your religion. Sorry. Peace!

  • wow… Very surprised to see so much negativity towards what I consider to be pretty amazing news. I am assuming that since we are all reading quarrygirl that we are all vegans, so why so much negativity towards each other? Honestly, who wouldn’t want another awesome vegan place on the westside? If you don’t feel like donating, then don’t, but why try to dissuade others from helping out people who have always provided great food? I’ve only eaten at madeleines a few times but I have always been blown away by the creative fare and have yet to have a vegan meal in california that tasted as good. So what if they’re asking for donations…. They are asking people who want more awesome food choices on this side of the hill to help out in the opening of it because they can’t afford it – big fucking deal! I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of people telling me that they can’t go vegan because the food isn’t good enough, even after showing them videos like farm to fridge. I went to MB with one of those “the food isn’t good enough” people and had them tell me that if all vegan food was that good that they would have no problem being vegan. LET’S GIVE THEM SOME MORE GODDAMN CHOICES! And really, panini guy? Is there nothing better to argue about?

  • Or some people just don’t drink?

  • I think it’s fine that they’re opening a new location, but I do think it’s a bit tacky to ask for donations to do it. Especially when they’ve already been selling the most expensive vegan food I’ve ever seen.

    Veggie Grill doesn’t ask for handouts to open a new location, they go out and get more venture funding (as they just did). I don’t know if Native Food has investors for new locations; for all I know they just scrimp and save; but I do know that I don’t get panhandled to.

    I’m not offended by anyone who decides to participate, but I won’t, because I think it’s kinda weird. No offense intended.

  • We look forward to seeing you all in our new shop & also at our old one. We encourage support only from those in this community who do believe in us and want to continue enjoying our food in more locations for years to come. We appreciate constructive criticism and strive to improve in our ability to serve the community. We have great compassion for all living creatures, including humans who doubt or dislike us. We wish you all the best. We are eternally thankful for the majority of our customers whose positivity and encouragement has carried us through many hard times over the last six years. Rather than regret the mistakes we’ve made we are thankful for the lessons we have learned, and we are blessed and uplifted by the many lives we know we have touched in a positive way. If you are or know one of those people please show and share your support for our new project as you see fit.
    molly & david

  • Oh crap, you’re recovering? Now I feel even worse. Honestly, of the six flavors that change each day, maybe every three days one of them will have booze in it, and rarely ever is that one of the vegan flavors, but if you don’t want to go in there because you don’t want to tempt yourself by being around something with booze in it, I totally get it. We all have our demons. So again, sorry.

  • Some of us decided to never start? I can’t tell if you’re dense, or trolling.

  • Okay, I’ve clearly touched a raw nerve here, so again I’ll apologize. Maybe if you take a step back you’ll see that you might be the one who’s dense or trolling if you’re going to call anybody who walks into an ice cream shop that every three or four days might have a flavor with some booze in it an alcoholic. Clearly, it’s hard for you to stay neutral on this issue. I’m not inclined to start guessing as to your reason since it’s probably something very personal like an alcoholic dad who beat you across the mouth with his belt. That’s why I keep offering what are sincere apologies for the high-level of offense you keep demonstrating, because I see the mere mention of the word alcohol brings out your nuclear weapons and sends you into a 0-60 rage. Peace and love to you Gregalor, peace and love.

  • You really couldn’t get a post in without yet another attempted psychoanalysis of me, could you? Maybe people would react better to you if you didn’t make up stories about them.

  • Dude, I didn’t make up any stories about you. You were the one who called me an alcoholic, out of nowhere, when I wasn’t even engaged in a conversation with you, but simply committed the high crime of saying in response to somebody else’s post that I thought Scoops was good. And you took it from there. I’m not a psychoanalyst and I’m not attempting to psychoanalyze you, but seeking out a professional one is not a bad idea. Peace!

  • Devoted Customer

    @Madeleine Bistro: If you don’t reach your fundraising goal, will the restaurant still open? If it doesn’t, will donors be refunded? Please let me know, because I’d like to pitch in if a prize our outcome is guaranteed.

  • Molly,

    We had a great dinner and time on Saturday for my daughter’s fifth birthday. After seeing the last picture post on this site she indicated that she wanted to eat at MB for her birthday. She was happy and we were as well.

    Thank you very much,


    p.s. for those who like to rag dinner for two adults and three children with dessert came to under $100 and we had attentive service with other customers in the restaurant.

  • Thanks so much James! We look forward to seeing you guys on the Westside!

  • Devoted Customer,

    We plan on opening with or without the customer support we are seeking in exchange for fun prizes. We’d like to open quickly and create some fun ways of honoring the people who support us which is why we launched this campaign. Even if we do not reach our monetary goal – we will honor all prizes purchased. If for any reason we do not open, all donors will be offered a refund for their pledges. Thanks so much for your support!

    Molly & Dave

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