The Alibi Room Needs a Restaurant Makeover


Tonight we went to the 100th episode meet-up for The Lab with Leo Laporte. The party was held at the Alibi Room at 157 Alexander Street in Vancouver. If ever a restaurant needed a makeover, the Alibi Room would be at the top of the list. I can see why Leo chose it. The Ailibi Room was the only place dead enough to accommodate the large group Leo brought down. Every other bar wouldn’t be able to host their regular customers and Leo at the same time. The Alibi Room had no such problem because they have no regular customers.

The service was down right awful and painfully slow. We all ordered food at the same time but they came out at different times and so far in between that by the time Sarah and I got our dishes, Stephen Fung, Ed Lau, Michael Kwan and Rainer had already finished their. The food was barely eatable and way too expensive for the level of quality. Greg Morgan and BlueFur were the lucky ones – they ate before they came and didn’t order food. One thing for sure, you will never see a John Chow dot Com meet-up at the Alibi Room.

Despite the restaurant being a hole in the ground, we did had a good time. Meeting up with good friends makes up for a lot of shortcomings.


Michael Kwan really likes the little ketchup bottle for some reason. Good thing they gave us three because he used one all for himself.


Ed Lau shows off his super bling Canon digital SLR camera. The thing is huge! The bag it came with looked like a backpack.


Some yam chips. We didn’t order this. The waitress thought we did. I took a pic and told her take it away. Here are some food that we did ordered but wish we didn’t.




Alibi Room on Urbanspoon

86 thoughts on “The Alibi Room Needs a Restaurant Makeover”

  1. Ed Lau says:

    …the bag it came with looks like a backpack because…that was my backpack…not the bag it came with.


    1. LOL. Owned. 😆 😆

    2. Hahahaha, come on don’t be offended 😛 just be honest, lmao

    3. Haahaha that was pretty funny.

  2. Stephen says:

    You forgot to mention that Leo left his own party! 😯

    1. John Chow says:

      I guess he was just too hot being stuck in the basement with all those geeks.

      1. Jack Book says:

        wow John, that is a bad story for them.
        and that picture third bottom. was it really that messed? or you set it? don’t you afraid they’ll sue you? 🙂

        1. The third from the bottom was my $22 steak. I couldn’t cut it with the steak knife. On the positive side, I complained and they took it off the bill.

          All in all it was a horrible experience but being the blogger bunch we are, we just made our own event.

    2. He saw what a hole the place was and ditched! lol

    3. Excuse me? Leo organized the party and than he left the party and the guests?

      Sheesh, hope that won leave the guests on his show one day and go somewhere. Lmao

    4. ***V*** says:

      Leo left his own party? How soon did he leave?


      1. Ed Lau says:

        It started at about 7pm. I arrived at about 7:45…he left at around 8:15.

  3. Rob says:

    ohhh, the yam chips! looks so yummy! 😆

    1. Judging by John’s review, I’d wager that they tasted like garbage.

      1. ***V*** says:

        They never ordered them, so there wasn’t the opportunity to try them.


  4. Sean says:

    We’re getting more and more random post lately… 😕

    1. It’s John’s personal blog…you’ll get personal stuff on it as well as money making tips.

    2. Shaun says:

      I like the personal stuff…especially the food. 😛

      1. Shaun Carter says:

        Ditto… although those french fries looked a little limp.

        1. Shaun says:

          Heh, yep. Crispy are the best. 😉

          Nice name. 😛

        2. Nothing worse than greasy freis.

        3. Ed Lau says:

          They actually weren’t horrible fries. Not great but nothing to complain about.

          1. Stephen says:

            They tasted fine if you drowned them in enough ketchup. But we couldn’t even do that because the ketchups were too small!

      2. Yeah, me too. It is a good balance to the more serious stuff imo

      3. Wahlau.NET says:

        burgers looks good

  5. Aditya says:

    Hey, Nice blog, was shocked to see your income you make from a blog 😀 …. i will read daily now 😀 wanna know some secrets

  6. Who Cares what the food looks like, I went and had a huge meal last night, didn’t take my Cam 😉

    1. Shaun says:

      Yeah, but a lot of us are starving and are trying to make a living on the Internet. We don’t get to see good food very often. Yet. 😉

  7. Nomar says:

    lol, looks like the local restaurant here

    1. You won’t believe. But here in Italy i have always ate the best plates on restaurants (trattoria) which don’t have a rich look, but mostly look like Mom is working in the kitchen, Dad is the guy to which you pay after you eat and the Son is the one that serves you…but heck, the plates are 10 times more delicious than the ones you find at “classy and rich looking” restaurants.

      Maybe this is not the case in Canada..

      1. ***V*** says:

        There are “authentic” Itanlian restaurants in Canada, though you find that the best food comes from the people closest to Italy. If their kids start cooking then it’s usually over for me.


        1. Rob says:

          Uhmm, i guest you’re totally right 😛

  8. Dick Logan says:

    Leo left his OWN party? Not that’s pretty bad…

  9. Lindsay says:

    Looks like it was a great night?!?!?
    and restaurants are my “thing”
    May you should all come down to Australia for your next party.

    1. Just don’t try to come to Sydney at the moment. APEC and Dubya have turned it into a fortress 🙄

  10. Marko Novak says:

    I would eat that chips if I was you 😀

  11. Rob says:

    John, why you don’t invite us at the next one? 😈

  12. Shaun says:

    Hey John, Google Page Rank says you are only a four right now… what happened???

    1. PageRank is for shows at 6… And it looks like my site is at 5 which means I am slowing catching up to John 😆

    2. Richard Cai says:

      Where did you check it?
      It’s Still 6

      1. Shaun says:

        Okay, it’s six right now. That’s… weird. I’m absolutely positive it was 4. o.0

  13. Looks like fun – we have had a few of those in Toronto when Leo was filming show here before the move to west coast. They are always packed with a lot of geeks (interesting people to hang out with). I wish Leo would have stayed in Toronto, but I guess it is closer for him to commute.

  14. Again with the food. You always make me want to eat. :mrgreen:

  15. GettyCash says:

    Look at chips, making me hungry…..

  16. 🙂 I very very like the personal stuff

  17. Michael Kwan says:

    Correction: Gary had a burger there, but he finished it before you showed up.

  18. Next time just drag a kid along and go to McDonald’s playland for your meeting. At least you’ll know what to expect.

  19. Farm says:

    Nice, very nice…

  20. James Wilcox says:

    If you’ve ever read Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential” you would know to stay away from empty restaurants…there’s a reason they are empty and you just found out first hand why. Nobody wants to eat terrible food and have bad service. Next time Leo should spring for a place that has private rooms for large guests. I’m sure they exist.

    1. Ed Lau says:

      We know better, believe me. It wasn’t empty. In fact, it was pretty crowded.

      I’m rather sure the two tables closest to us were caught in the hurricane that is…well, us talking. We’re loud…

  21. Did they pay you for this review? 😉

  22. Roberta says:

    I hate it when the waitress brings over crap I didn’t order. It was like that one time in Georgia, the waiter asked us if we’d like dessert and we hadn’t ordered our meal yet. Then, he gave us the check….what a dummy!

  23. Adnan says:

    Hehe, yet another appetising post.

  24. Tariq says:

    John, can you name me the winner of your latest 7 Winning Strategies for Trading Forex?

  25. Eric Nagel says:

    I like those little bottles of ketchup, too – I brought a few home from ASE in Miami… mustard, too! 😛

  26. Ha ha
    I love the fact that you took a photo of the food before sending it back. Looks like you had a good night 🙂

  27. Gleb says:

    Pretty cool! 🙂

    I’ve recently had a friend of mine refer me to your blog saying “there’s this guy which makes photos of his meals in various restaurants”, made me laugh 😉

  28. Jackie says:

    RSS Feed Reply for ForEx Book.

  29. john you should get a food blog – you have more food pictures on your blog that probably posts! lol

  30. Rhys says:

    I is in 🙂

  31. Karl says:

    Put me down for the forex book.

  32. MyBlogCotest says:

    Looks great!
    Also comment for Win The 7 Winning Strategies for Trading Forex

  33. David Savage says:

    The food looked great, and the guys in the pics seemed like they were having fun, but the restaurant needs some life to it.

  34. David Lash says:

    your food article photos always crack me up!

  35. Wow, not a great review for this restaurant. Maybe you were a restaruant critic in a previous life John? 🙂

  36. Matt says:

    Well, it looks like the presentation of the food wasn’t bad at least. 😆

  37. Farinha says:

    Hey hey!
    Put me in the list to win “7 Winning Strategies for Trading Forex” 😛

  38. Vijay says:

    Finally, looks like John had a bad day at the restaurant!

  39. Click Input says:

    I’ve seen you post much nicer looking food here!

  40. Vincent Chow says:

    Nice food there, and nice book too 🙄

  41. YC says:

    Food looked awful and the prices paid… geez…

  42. Loks mnameee… Reminds me that I am getting hungry. 😯

  43. Ruchir says:

    doesn’t look that bad…ok…perhaps it does…

  44. Anastasia says:

    Wow, almost forgot to post my second entry for the contest! 😀

  45. Mmmmmm, that food looks really good!

  46. Nick says:

    Doesn’t look like that turned out so well, least you guys still had fun. Now you have another item for your list of places to not eat.

  47. KennyP says:

    My second entry here..

  48. Aditya says:

    My mouth really started watering now ……

  49. Alopecia says:

    It’s lunch time over here now, and those dishes really look Yummy….!
    However the place of the party was, the food definitely looks YUMMMM ! to me.

  50. Matt Harris says:

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the venue or food of the Alibi Room. In my experience with these tech meet ups, it can be tough to estimate how many folks are going to actually show. With the numbers we gave them, more people showed up then we expected and thus took us and the Alibi Room off guard. The majority of the people who attended the event were understanding of this issue. The team and I were extremely happy with the way the venue and event panned out. In fact, we would like to thank Alibi Room for accommodating our event and we’ll be back after episode 200!
    Producer, The Lab with Leo Laporte

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