Ali Mama Cafe

Café / Hookah Bar
Ali Mama Cafe Ali Mama Cafe in Silver Lake, Los Angeles is a grungy hookah bar that stays open late for a friendly crowd. Come on baby light your fire in LA with Party Earth. Los Angeles United States 34.0862968 -118.2750867
3.66 7
Ali Mama Cafe - Café | Hookah Bar in Los Angeles.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A hole-in-the-wall joint seemingly plucked from the streets of Cairo, Ali Mama Cafe is a grungy dive where the only thing stronger than the hookah tobacco might be the pots of authentic Turkish coffee. The façade is a... ... read full review

  • Phone:

    323-668-0856

  • Hours:

    Daily noon–3am
    Venue often stays open later

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Ali Mama Cafe Review

The Scene

Ali Mama Cafe in Silver Lake, Los Angeles is a grungy hookah bar that stays open late for a friendly crowd. Come on baby light your fire in LA with Party Earth.

A hole-in-the-wall joint seemingly plucked from the streets of Cairo, Ali Mama Cafe is a grungy dive where the only thing stronger than the hookah tobacco might be the pots of authentic Turkish coffee.

The façade is a plain white storefront with only the dull, cramped front room visible inside, but once patrons sidestep their way through the groups of middle-aged Arab men perpetually planted by the windows, they can climb the narrow concrete stairs to a larger room with an entirely different atmosphere.

A domed wooden ceiling lined with black lights and rimmed with Christmas bulbs hangs above the scattered tables upstairs, causing anything and anyone wearing bright colors to give off a cool, fluorescent glow. On any given night, groups of hip young regulars and adventurous friends can be found smoking hookahs from the mammoth colorful pipes, playing cards, and sipping jet fuel-strength coffee as they listen to the pop sounds of Arabic music videos on the wall-mounted TVs.

For those who prefer some fresh air – or at least freshER air – there’s also a small outdoor patio with heat lamps, where tipsy revelers go on the weekends to smoke and joke and rehash the night.

Ali Mama Cafe definitely won’t win any awards from the Surgeon General, but for anyone in need of a heavy dose of Middle Eastern culture and a great place to top off an evening, it’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

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Tip from Jonah:

There are more than 150 flavors of tobacco to put in your pipe, or you can mix a couple together. Definitely ask the servers for their recommendations, as they can come up with some pretty amazing taste combinations for you to puff on – some of which aren’t even on the menu!

  • Crowd

    Silver Lake hipsters, hookah aficionados, late-night partiers not ready to go home, young expats, adventurous groups of friends, and loud but friendly middle-aged Arab men in the front room, mostly early 20s to 30s+ upstairs.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Wall-mounted TVs display Arabic pop music videos.

    Playing cards and several board games like Backgammon available.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No real food, though traditional milk pudding available for dessert. Outside food is welcome, or patrons can order from nearby restaurants.

    No alcohol served.

    Over 150 varieties of hookah flavors.

  • Prices

    Dessert $6. Coffee $2–$4, iced/cold drinks $2–$6, hot drinks $2–$3, smoothies $5.50.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Come as you are: everything from the hipster uniform of skinny jeans and graphic t-shirts or slightly trendier wear on the late-night crowd to collared shirts and a few ties on the guys downstairs.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Late night on Fridays and Saturdays to join the local party crowd trying to stretch the evening out as long as they can, or any midweek evening to chill with a round of cards and smoke some shisha.

  • Close By

    Local (2943 West Sunset Boulevard) is a popular little restaurant that serves only locally sourced food, has a handful of beers at the ready, and touts a salad bar many people happily drive across town for.

Ali Mama Cafe User Reviews

Average rating:
Hookah!!
Gor G. Jun 7, 2013
The Ali Mama Cafe was a regular place for me, every other day or so. Sometimes I'd stay half an hour, other times upwards of five. It has a fantastic environment, great flavor selection, and helpful customer service. If I hadn't moved away, I'd still be in there every other day. They treat you like family there. If you're having a great day, they will celebrate it with you. A terrible one? They will show sympathy and bring you a nice, fresh bowl of shisha to cheer you up, and even offer you advice! Their drinks are wonderful, and I've tried most of them. I highly recommend the mocha frappuccino or the jasmine tea. They also have Turkish Coffee, for those who love very sweet drinks. There is also a taco set-up outside on most nights. Very inexpensive and very tasty, although not technically a part of the Ali Mama Cafe. If I recall correctly, the tacos were 1-2 dollars each. Whether you are a regular, an old man playing cards, a new freshly 18 individual, or just your average joe checking out a hookah bar, they treat you with respect. Shoutout to how awesome they treated my partner and I on our anniversary and valentine's day! If I had more than five stars to give, I'd give it. Fantastic, A+ hookah bar.
A place where you can experience a new journey
Yosra S. Mar 30, 2013
Shout out for all those culture lovers out there, Ali Mama cafe welcomes LA people to experience and be part of the Middle Eastern culture from their flavored hookahs aka "Shisha" to their ethnic hip Arabic music. Ali Mama has proved that you could still be adventurous by stepping out of your door without having to travel miles away. Though one might think that you could suffocate from all the smoke around the place, but its more of indulging into a different arena of what you are used to. What makes Ali Mama cafe even more hip and cool, is its affordable price. The place is perfect for friends to hang out and experience a new fun atmosphere. So if you finally decide that you are sick of your norm and want to try something new, well you know where you should be heading to, Ali Mama cafe.
Doesn't LOOK welcoming, but totally is!
Jayson M. Oct 4, 2012
Yeah, there are always packs of dudes out front who look like extras in a bad Michael Bay movie (is there any other kind?) but I always find both the regulars and the staff here super friendly. Service is spot on, lots of smiles and chatting. Granted, it’s not the healthiest place to visit and you’ll stink of flavored tobacco for hours, but I love coming up to the second floor to listen to the great ethnic music, play cards, kill my lungs, and talk about whatever anybody feels like talking about. Kind of surprised this place hasn’t burned down with all the open coals everywhere. Kind of annoyed when they play rap sometimes, but it’s not really my thing so that opinion doesn’t carry much weight. No real grub here but there’s a sweet and cheap Mexican joint just up the street, so you can transition from smelling like smoke to smelling like a $3 chimichanga in seconds.
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