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Aroma Cafe Hollywood - Report

It's practically the closest restaurant to me, even closer than Greenblatt's, the Griddle Cafe, Cheebo, etc. I'd been to the Tujunga version a couple of times. Yet when it opened oh-so-close to me, years ago, I was reticent. It was too popular. Jammed with industry hipsters.

But today, on a MONDAY, I had a hankering for Griddle Cafe and their massive pancakes. Still, a line, on Monday.

So we went to Aroma.

Holy crap!

First of all and who knew for a cafe/bakery: Full Bar!

Second, just a massive menu. Surely they can't do it all well (Gordon Ramsay would have it down to five dishes), but...

It's Mediterranean food (Israeli owned) the likes of which I haven't had outside of my trip to Turkey. Their #1 Breakfast is two eggs as you like with a salad (for breakfast! so Mediterranean) with julienned cucumber, tomato, and shaved feta. The shaved feta was unbelievable. Not your crumbly feta, it melted creamily in the mouth.

I ordered my eggs poached, medium well, and they came out just so.

#1 also included a pint of (truly) fresh squeezed OJ, bottomless coffee, their baked in house olive bread, house made marmalade, and their "olive cheese spread," which was like the cream cheese/salmon mix you get at your local bagelry, but with kalamatas instead of salmon. I mean, come on!

Wife had one of their (several) breakfast "burritos" (not really, because the wrapper is an ultra-thin, grilled lavash bread. I'm not generally a fan of "wraps," but this was really good): omelette, avocado, smoked salmon, spicy sauce.

The menu is ridiculous. Everything from beef stroganoff (with rice rather than noodles, which some will appreciate) to fish tacos, to filet mignon to all manner of Mediterrean staples like eggplant, puff pastry thingies w/fillings.

They also do smoothies, shakes, have 8-10 beers on tap, $5 house wine happy hour every day, drink specials, $9 all you can drink mimosas on weekends...

Please, someone tell me why it sucks so I don't go there all the time.

PS: did I mention "Full Bar?"

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  1. We moved to the area recently, and this is one of our standbys. We come from Israel, so this is a taste of home for us. If you want to try and Israeli tradition, go on the weekends for Jachnun. It is a Yemenite specialy, a kind of steamed bread served with hardboiled eggs, tomato puree, and hot sauce. Not something you want to eat every day, but worth trying once.

    What are your other favorite restaurants in the area?

    1. Can't speak to this location, but the Encino/Tarzana rendition is very loud. The waitresses are probably working on expired visas looking for green card marriages. There's a lot of patio smoking. You get a lot of "scene" for your money.

      1. This place, Aroma Bakery Cafe is related to the cafe in Encino, not Studio City. The Tujunga cafe is Cafe Aroma.

        Thanks for the report. I've been eager to try this place.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gr8pimpin

          thank you for clearing that up, I wasn't sure myself which one the OP was referring to. Is the Encino location the one located in the mall with the Laemmle theatre?

          1. re: medrite

            Actually, it's on Ventura Blvd (north side) at Lindley between a Carl's Jr. to the east and an urgent care to the west.

            1. re: gr8pimpin

              You forgot to mention that Aroma Encino is also good.

              1. re: cls

                Didn't know if it is good or not, never been. But I'll assume it's good now ;-)

        2. I recently tried it for the first time as well, and was very happy. I went on a weekday for breakfast, the place was pretty dead, but still the service was outstanding. Our servers name escapes me, but I'm thinking he maybe had a neck tattoo? Anyway, he was great! Very very attentive. I had a croissant sandwich, which was really good, and it came with fruit (the good fruit) and tater tots. Tater tots. Tater tots. That alone will make me go back. Want to try it out for dinner, but haven't gone yet. Oh, and their dessert case looked mouth-watering!!!

          1. I love, love, LOVE the sandwich called "The Tunisian" at the Aroma on Sunset.
            Tuna, eggs, tomato, onion and harissa spread on a crunchy "Jerusalem Sesame Bagel."

            1. Good find. Never been will try

              1. Thanks, glad to know it hasn't been tried and despised. This location wasn't particularly loud. But it's right on Sunset, so the occasional semi or fire truck can be earsplitting if sitting on the patio.

                It's kind of huge (on the lot formerly occupied by Denny's), with loads of seating indoors and out. And I haven't been when it's packed.

                MarkC: I like Greenblatt's for Jewish deli, Baby Blues BBQ for their brisket, Griddle Cafe (but only if there's no wait), Pinche's for Mexican lunches. Pa Ord for Thai noodles on Sunset/LaBrea, and Mashti Malone's across the street for Persian ice cream. Lots of people like Cheebo but it's never done much for me. Likewise Bossa Nova. And today I'll be heading to Carney's for National Hot Dog Day.

                Will definitely try the Jachnun, thanks for the recommendation!

                13 Replies
                1. re: jesstifer

                  Is Persian ice cream any different than regular ice cream? I've never gone to Mashti Malone's.

                  1. re: schrutefarms

                    You should go. Mostly it's a very different palette of spices. They do "normal" Western style ice cream, but their specialties are based on rosewater: Creamy Rosewater, Rosewater/Saffron, Orange Flower Water, Rosewater/Ginger, etc.

                    And a "Mashti" is a scoop of ice cream between two light, waffly sugar wafers. So good. They sell them packaged and frozen to go, too. More here:

                    http://www.mashtimalone.com/Ingredien...

                  2. re: jesstifer

                    Carney's is a favorite. Love the burgers there too. Beer please!

                    Agree re Cheebo and BN.

                    Gets panned on CH but I have a soft spot for the thick carnitas quesadillas and margaritas at compadres when doing my guitar string shopping !

                    1. re: jessejames

                      I only recently discovered the joy of Carney's. Burger fries and a beer for around $10. Can't beat that anywhere in LA, and on the strip, no less!! AND there's parking! Win/win/win.

                      1. re: jessejames

                        I like Compadre just fine, although I have gotten ill from food there a couple of times, so my wife never lets us go anymore. I miss the flaming margaritas.

                        OT, I noticed that Valdez Guitars closed recently. End of an era, that.

                        1. re: jesstifer

                          Yeah I stick to the margaritas quesadillas chips and guacamole. Great greasy style chips. Bummer about Valdez I agree That strip Still our guitar Mecca in la.

                      2. re: jesstifer

                        Oh and add rainbow bar for cocktails steak sandwich and meatball pizza. Rock and roll!

                        1. re: jessejames

                          And the best part--the people watching!!! (Also their eggplant parmigiana and chicken soup).

                          1. re: schrutefarms

                            100%
                            Lots of fun

                            And when you're drunk enough to be in the pirate ship room that's a special thing!

                            1. re: jessejames

                              If you're not drunk enough then you shouldn't be at the Rainbow.

                              1. re: schrutefarms

                                True true but you gotta start somewhere!

                        2. re: jesstifer

                          Thanks! We started out liking Cheebo but the last couple of times it wasn't good and now we don't go anymore. Like the Pikey but find it overpriced. Chibiscus is kind of a kick, particularly if you've got kids who are into Asian pop culture.

                          1. re: MarkC

                            Like the pikey too. It's not cheap but the quality is high. Gotta try that ramen spot