Lulu's Alibi, West Los Angeles

Some people come into the world with silver spoons in their mouths. Kids are born wearing, among other things, greasepaint, red diapers and chaps. If your blankie is your destiny, the dynamo behind Lulu's Alibi was preordained to create the "best damned coffee house restaurant in Los Angeles."

Growing up a "red booth baby" in the Las Vegas restaurant business, it is no surprise that Lulu followed her parent's career paths, spending 17 years as a professional waitress and bartender before creating Lulu's Alibi (1640 Sawtelle Blvd., West Los Angeles, 310-479-6007).

Opened in 1990, Lulu's -- Home of the Blueplate -- was an immediate and huge success. Jammed from early evening to early morning with a crowd of writers, painters, musicians and patron's from the nearby Nuart movie art house, the rest of the day Lulu's has a steady clientele made up of celebrities, tourists, bands from nearby recording studios, and loyal Angelenos drawn by perfectly brewed coffee, hearty breakfasts, healthy soups and sandwiches, a satisfying selection of entrees (like the Big Slab O'Mom's Oven-Baked Meatloaf), and memorable specialty desserts like Lulu's famous deep-fried Twinkie (served "naked" or blanketed in chocolate or caramel with vanilla bean ice cream).

Lulu wanted to create a place that would be a home away from home for disenfranchised Angelenos. Lulu's Alibi realizes the dream of offering a haven of community to a population that tends to spend its days isolated in offices and cars. "People want union and unity," Lulu says. "The coffee house is a place where you can hang out, meet friends, read, write, listen music."

From the beginning, Lulu's has been a multi-faceted space, a venue for AIDs benefits and earthquake relief events, for poetry readings and music performances and art exhibitions. Lulu's walls are an ever-changing gallery of paintings and fine art photographs. When Ozzy Osbourne announced the upcoming exhibition of his own drawings and paintings, there was no place other than Lulu's that he considered for his first public showing ever. Lulu's Alibi website.

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