The Alibi Room with Leo Laporte…sort of

by Ed Lau on September 7, 2007

Alibi Room, Vancouver

I remember I first heard of Leo Laporte from a show called The Screen Savers! on TechTV way back when they were still actually called TechTV. It was a fun tech news sort of show that featured the likes of Kevin Rose during his pre-Digg days. To be honest, I had no idea he had a new show after leaving The Screen Savers! (which chose to change their name to something stupid like The Attack of the Show! or some crap) until John told me he would be on it, let alone that the show actually had 100 episodes. Either way, John told me that they were having a party downtown at the Alibi Room to celebrate the 100th episode so I thought I’d come hang out. Michael Kwan, Stephen Fung, Gary Jones, Rainer Schmoll, Jeff Kee and Greg Morgan came as well.

Leo Laporte, Lab with Leo

I know some folks, especially older folks around here, are fans of Leo’s work. Leo strikes me as the sort of television personality that teaches people that don’t know anything about computers or technology about those subjects…an audience that doesn’t really include me so I guess that’s why I was never really interested.

You know who else isn’t really interested? Leo! In his own party. About an hour in, Gary and Rainer tell me that Leo passed by them outside and, when asked, said he was going home.

Not surprising really and I’ll tell you why. I arrived fashionably late (well, maybe a bit too fashionably late) almost an hour after the event started. Other than Jeff and Greg, everyone else had already arrived but I found them sitting on the ground floor rather than the…basement where the festivities were being held. Why? Well, they told me to go see for myself. The “party” consisted of a nearly all-male crowd in a sweaty, boiling hot room with little circulation. Heck, even the turntables went un-manned and everyone was awkwardly sipping at their beers. Not what I’d really call a party.

Alibi Room, Vancouver

Doesn’t sound like much fun, huh? Well, anytime us Vancouver bloggers are anywhere, there’s fun to be had. Even though we didn’t really hang out in the overly sweaty room with the rest of the party-goers, we had a good time anyways. It was a good chance for me to try out my new camera in low lighting…and laugh at John’s comparatively puny one.

John Chow, Ed Lau, Alibi Room, Vancouver

Let me get started on the restaurant, the Alibi Room. Now everyone else disagrees with me on this one but I actually like how this place looks. It has a sort of industrial chic, really. However, it doesn’t really help that the building is directly (we’re talking mere feet away from active train tracks and due to the lack (or general weakness) of the air-conditioning, all the windows are open. The whole place is very, very noisy although I’m sure our table contributed most to the deafening roar.

Alibi Room, Vancouver

The Alibi Room has a pretty good list of import beers. I recognized several of the European ones from last year’s Eurotrip but they also have selections from South America. I selected one from Spain. I can’t remember the name and calls to the restaurant resulted in answering machine services I can’t be bothered with…but it was a fantastic beer. I’ll call again sometime and ask them for the name.

Alibi Room, Vancouver

I was starving by the time I arrived. I didn’t have lunch and I had just caned it downtown from Surrey since I was off purchasing camera equipment beforehand. I ordered the “House-made organic beef burger with onion confit” which comes with fries and a salad. The burger itself is quite good with hints of chili heat and the onions were delicious. Mine was cooked well but Stephen and Gary complained that their patties were dry. The chibatta bread was decent but it was a bit excessively big for the patty. The fries were nothing special but the dressing on the salad was refreshing and light.

I didn’t try anyone else’s dish so I can’t comment first hand but Rainer said his steak was so dry and overcooked it couldn’t cut it with a steak knife. It was so bad that he had to complain and to their credit, the servers took it off the bill. John had the sauteed tiger prawns which he said were tiny. Michael said his Moroccan chicken wrap was quite good, though…although I think he liked the mini ketchup bottles more.

Alibi Room, Vancouver

However, the service was as poor as Rainer’s steak. Our waitress wasn’t very friendly at all. We sat there for quite awhile before she even came over and when she did, she left after taking half our orders and didn’t come back for another few minutes. Stephen requested his burger with all the extras but when it came, it was lacking in the cheese department. He mentioned this to the waitress who was surprisingly rude about it, arguing with Stephen as to what “all the extras” meant. John and Sarah’s food came a good twenty minutes after Stephen, Michael and I were almost finished eating. Oh…and we got a plate of yam chips we didn’t even order but they took it away quickly.

Alibi Room, Vancouver

The only really interesting thing about The Alibi Room is the racks upon racks full of movie scripts that are piled high against the walls. I took the opportunity to do my best Keanu Reeve’s impression from Speed. Being Keanu Reeves is surprisingly easy, by the way…although I couldn’t really do this part very well…

Speed, Keanu Reeves, Jack, Alibi Room, Vancouver

If I had known about this place beforehand, I would’ve skipped it altogether and told my friends to make their way to a different restaurant. Service was horrible and although the place looks good (to me), the environment is far too stuffy and noisy. The food is sub-par and…oh, I forgot this part…it’s in quite a shady area of town. The surrounding area is close to the core of the Downtown Eastside, which means dealers, addicts and worst of all, car thieves. Be careful, especially if you park a couple streets south.

Alibi Room, Vancouver

I didn’t even know there was a film called Ed’s Next Move but I can tell you my next move won’t be back to The Alibi Room.

in Food and Fine Dining,Tech and the Net

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Leo September 8, 2007 at 2:28 am

I was gonna go but, once again, work got in the way. Hearing the male-female though, I’m glad I didn’t go.

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Leo September 8, 2007 at 2:29 am

*male-female ratio

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Derrich September 8, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Liar. :P

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Leo September 9, 2007 at 11:17 am

Biatch. ;)

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Derrich September 10, 2007 at 7:55 am

DOH!

Derrich September 8, 2007 at 7:50 pm

Hey, Ed. That beer looks like Alhambra. I only know 3 beers from Spain…that, Estrella, and Mahou.

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Stephen September 9, 2007 at 10:41 pm

They guys downstairs in the dungeon were also singing “Chocolate Rain”. Uh…yeah…

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ms danielle September 10, 2007 at 5:51 pm

dang, i’d have left too if i were him. sounded pretty wack. that picture of the one girl is hella funny though!

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Suzie September 12, 2007 at 12:33 pm

sounds like a pretty good boy/girl ratio to me, lol! Looks a tad crowded for my tastes! How many people would you say showed up?

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Ed Lau September 12, 2007 at 2:34 pm

I’m not sure…there were probably 50-60 people downstairs. The nine people in our party sat upstairs since it was really stuffy downstairs.

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